The Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce (SBCC) has welcomed the publication of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee report entitled “Our Borderlands, Our Future”.
Jack Clark, convener of SBCC, said the committee of MPs is to be congratulated on the study which focuses on current and future economic and social needs of the south of Scotland.
“The evidence they heard from a wide range of organisations based in the region, including SBCC, has produced a detailed, balanced and sensible set of findings which we hope both Westminster and Holyrood governments will act upon without delay,” said Mr Clark.
Among the recommendations to receive backing from SBCC were those on communications and transport infrastructure, including a call for the extension of the Borders railway to Hawick and, eventually, Carlisle.
Referring to the call for extending the new Borders railway, Mr Clark commented: “Nobody pretends this will be easy or cheap, but if we are serious about stimulating the Borders’ economy for the long-term benefit of generations to come, then it must be looked at seriously.”
And he added: “All in all, the committee has done an excellent job and has put forward a package of recommendations which, if implemented, would bring far-reaching and long-term economic and social benefits to the region.
“It is now for the UK and Scottish governments, along with local authorities and other bodies, to work together to bring these improvements about.
“As the 2015 general election campaign gets under way in earnest, we call on all south of Scotland candidates to lend their support to the committee’s finding.”