In a follow-up letter to Mr Jon Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, secretary of state for Scotland Mr David Mundell MP said the government would provide funding for the Borders Railway study through the £345m Borderlands Growth Deal.

Lamont says progress of the study is now dependent on whether Scottish ministers agree to co-fund the Growth Deal. If approved, the heads of terms for the Growth Deal could be signed off in June, which could enable work to begin on the study by the end of 2019.

The extension beyond Tweedbank is listed as one of 21 options for further appraisal in the Borders Transport Corridors Study draft report, which was published in April 2018.

The 159km Waverley Route between Edinburgh and Carlisle closed in 1969, severing the Scottish Borders from the main line rail network. The 57km northern section from Edinburgh to Galashiels and Tweedbank reopened as the Borders Railway in September 2015 at a cost of £294m.