LEADING councillors are to have “further discussions” about which town in Allerdale will benefit directly from the multi-million Borderlands Growth Deal.

Silloth was the front-runner to receive a share of the Government funding which could be awarded as part of the economy-boosting initiative.

However, members of county council’s Local Committee for Allerdale have agreed to have a fresh look at the selection.

The move came after some members said they had not felt “fully engaged” with the earlier discussions, while more information has come to light which could affect the outcome of the original decision.

Marion Fitzgerald, who attended as leader of the district council, said she was “more than happy” to have more talks about which town should be chosen.

She said: “It must be obvious to everybody now that for me, it’s all about communication, so if we need further meetings to talk this through then I am very happy to agree to that.

“After the previous meeting [in September] when we were encouraged to decide on which town we would like to put forward for the potential award of this funding, there was a lot of discussion which centred around whether it should be Silloth or Wigton: those were the two main candidates.

“And it was generally felt in Allerdale that while they were both strong candidates, a stronger case could be made for Silloth on the grounds of its tourism potential.”

Councillor Alan Barry, who chaired the meeting, said that it had emerged that Silloth would be eligible for cash through separate funding for coastal towns.

“It would be silly to miss an opportunity to find two of our towns rather than one,” he added.

Mr Barry asked that the wording of the recommendation which names Silloth as the selected town should be amended.

Members agreed that the revised wording should be that the Local Committee and officers would “continue to work with Allerdale Council to identify and agree which town in Allerdale will be put forward by the county council for Borderlands funding.”

A report said that the government cash was “not guaranteed”, but that the funding is an “opportunity to bring government funding into the county and Allerdale”.

Carlisle City, Cumbria County, Dumfries and Galloway, Northumberland County and Scottish Borders councils thrashed out a proposal submitted to the UK and Scottish Governments last September.

They have now signed the heads of terms agreement, but the next stage involves formalising the finer points of the relationship between the different councils.