There's a folk song that has been playing around my head for the last year at least - and I can't find a copy of it anywhere. I can only remember "My borderlaaaands, my booooorderlands" so riddle that one out and send your answers on a postcard. However, the earworm has proved very apt this past week with the advent of the Borderlands conference in Dumfries, which we were at. The idea of a Borderland growth deal is not a new one, but it is exciting. It is a collaboration between the five councils of the Borders: Dumfries & Galloway, Carlisle City, Northumbria, Scottish Borders and Cumbria. By working together and promoting a shared vision for an economically vibrant Borderland, the growth deal will help to stabilise and boost our area. The growth deal wants to boost our area by making ours a more attractive place to do business, to encourage inward investment and build the digital technology, low-carbon and energy sectors to create well paid jobs. Political attention is greatly focussed on our region at the moment. You might be aware of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership which recently held a consultation event in the Buccleuch Centre. This works hand-in-hand with Borderlands by hopefully working towards providing the South with a skilled, inventive and entrepreneurial workforce. It will be the only agency solely dedicated to the South of Scotland with a real understanding of what we have, what we need and what we want. According to its figurehead Russell Griggs, the SoSEP is intended to be shaped by the people that it will support - us. Of course, we love an opportunity for partnership working and anyone that knows Judith will know that she won't pass up an opportunity to network. The Borderlands conference provided us with plenty of chances to do just that - so watch this space! Building our partnerships will only be beneficial for our community, and in the bigger picture of the South of Scotland, the ethos is the same. We will keep flying the flag for Eskdale in the everchanging minefield that is cross-border co-operation - whether that's in Scotland or England. In fact, some exciting cross border news below! Be sure to keep your eye on the news - Borderlands and SoSEP will affect us all in different ways.