Herefordshire is set to team up with three other counties either side of the English-Welsh border to better access government cash for the region.

The proposed Marches Forward Partnership would see Herefordshire Council working with Shropshire Council, Monmouthshire County Council and Powys County Council, to jointly apply for funding for major regional projects relating to transport, skills housing, energy, climate change and digital connectivity, Herefordshire Council said.

It expects to confirm the plan at its next cabinet meeting on Thursday September 28, after which the four unitary authorities are due to conclude an agreement in October.


Herefordshire Council leader Coun Jonathan Lester said: “This is a great opportunity to work with our neighbouring councils to address some of the big issues that are important to us all.

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“There are many commonalities between us, so working in this collaborative way with colleagues at Shropshire, Monmouthshire and Powys councils will have many advantages,” he said.

“However this move to create the partnership will not prevent us from working with other authorities and partners at any point now or in the future.”

Herefordshire Council recently set up a commission with the other three councils with responsibility for the river Wye catchment area, Powys, Monmouthshire and Forest of Dean, to look at how the river can be restored to good health.

Former council leader Coun David Hitchiner of the Independents for Herefordshire group previously opposed Government moves to brings authorities together into larger units, but said he favoured voluntary cooperation between neighbours.

“During our administration we fostered relations with Powys in particular,” he said.

“By the time of the last election, the foundations were in place for something along the Marches border, and what has emerged is what I would have wanted to put in place.”

A “Borderlands Partnership” of five authorities either side of the Scottish-English border has already brought in millions in regional investment, he pointed out.