The next stop is…economic growth!

Phil Dibsdale, the Inward Investment manager for the Borders Railway Blueprint group, sets out his vision for the future of the area.

“The increasing powers of Steam…will I think one day waft friends together in the course of a few hours…” said Sir Walter Scott. He was right of course, but I’m not sure he could have foreseen how much quicker rail links would have become and how important they would be in shaping the communities he was part of and represented so well through his writings.

The opening of the Borders Railway in September 2015 is already bringing economic, social and environmental benefits across Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders. Some of those success stories are captured on our updated website so do read and share those. House sales rates are up; hotel bed space nights are up; visitor spend is up: It’s a great time to think about getting on board!

More and more businesses are starting to realise that the railway will be a catalyst for significant economic and population growth, commercial and tourism development, and a more diversified business base for many years to come.  This will bring new demand for learning and skills and the great local Universities and colleges are rising to that challenge.

All of the partners in the Borders Railway Blueprint partnership are focussed on revitalising the communities along the line to create great places to live, work and learn in, as well as opening-up world-class destinations to visitors.  We need to nurture and promote the development opportunities along the rail corridor to maximize the benefits to the region, taking full advantage of the improved transport infrastructure and providing an attractive environment for investors and occupiers. It’s all about ‘placeshaping.’

Placeshaping will be at the heart of the four masterplans currently being developed for locations along the rail corridor: Newtongrange, Stobb Hill/Lady Victoria, Galashiels and Tweedbank, in partnership with local people and these will deliver fantastic opportunities for investors and companies looking to move into the region, as well as new homes for the growing workforce.