Tenders for the delayed £295m Borders rail link project in Scotland, UK, will begin before the end of the year, the Finance Secretary has announced.

The project involves building a 35-mile line from Edinburgh via Midlothian to Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders.

The announcement is a crucial step forward for the project, which has been delayed by two years by the recent global financial crisis, according to the minister.

Construction is now expected to begin in 2011 and finish in 2013.