HUNDREDS of millions of pounds is set to be pumped into the Scottish Borders after it was announced negotiations for a “growth deal” will go ahead.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said “progress is being made” on securing cash towards infrastructure, the local economy and tourism.

And he said City Deals – which hand funding and decision-making powers to an alliance of local authorities – are also being pushed forward in Tayside and North East Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

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In Edinburgh, a similar deal between the city and surrounding councils is expected to deliver a new concert hall in St Andrew Square, as well as up to 21,000 new jobs and transport projects worth £140million. During yesterday’s Budget, Mr Hammond said: “I can confirm that progress is being made on City Deals for Tay Cities and Stirling, and on a growth deal for the Borderlands.”

It is thought the extra cash could go towards improving existing transport infrastructure, including a possible extension to the Borders Railway line.

A Government source said talks were at an “early stage” – with no firm figure for how much the deal might be worth.

They added: “They are at the stage of looking at the overarching theme that they want, and thinking about projects that will contribute to that theme. One of the things that has been floated, for example, is improving the A75 out to Stranraer.”