Richard Arkless has backed Joan McAlpine’s calls for Dumfries to apply for city status at the earliest possible opportunity.
The MP’s comments came after a £315 million city region deal was announced for Inverness and the surrounding area with projects designed to boost the economy, improve road infrastructure, improve digital connectivity and encourage young people to stay in the area.
Mr Arkless said:
“Joan McAlpine is absolutely right to call for city region status for Dumfries and I will give her my full support. Inverness and Dumfries are remarkably similar – Inverness is population centre for the Highlands in the same way that Dumfries is the population centre for the south of Scotland. This massive cash injection of £315 million in the Highlands will tackle the very same issues that blight Dumfries and Galloway, however the lack of a city in the south of Scotland means that these city region deals are completely inaccessible to us.
“The SNP is all about raising ambition for Scotland. City status would raise ambition for Dumfries and Galloway in exactly the same way. Current economic developments for Scotland, and indeed across the UK, are based around city regions. As such, the whole of Dumfries and Galloway would be set to benefit from Dumfries attaining city status. Anything that can trigger funding for our region has got to be a good thing and I will do everything I can to help Joan push forward this ambitious new plan.”
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