Huge support for Scottish Government’s vision for South of Scotland

The Scottish Government and South of Scotland Economic Partnership have published reports on their consultation and stakeholder events that were undertaken earlier this year.

Investment in innovation, good employment opportunities, the creation of a skilled workforce, and more opportunities for young people, were some of the issues identified by respondents to the Scottish Government consultation, as being key to the future success of the new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland.
 
Many of the 268 respondents to the consultation also suggested that South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) should focus on improving infrastructure and  creating a more diverse local economy, whilst ensuring those sectors that are traditionally important to the area, continue to be valued.
 
Commenting on the consultation report, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
 
“We recognise the need for a new approach in the South of Scotland, which addresses key challenges facing the area, which is why we moved to create a new enterprise agency. That agency will be crucial in transforming the fortunes of this important economic region, by working with local partners to create a clear vision, and putting in place the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth. Some work is already underway to achieve that, with £7.7 million being awarded to projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders by SOSE’s interim partnership in July, to provide careers opportunities and build community resilience.
 
“We’ve had a very strong response to the consultation, and it was encouraging to see that the majority of respondents agreeing with the Scottish Government’s proposals. I was also interested to read of concerns regarding potential loss of funding post-Brexit, a lack of education and skills opportunities, and restrictions to business growth caused by burdensome bureaucracy.
 
“I’m very grateful to all those who took the time to respond. We will now take the time to carefully consider all the views and ideas submitted.”

Russel Griggs Chair of South of Scotland Economic Partnership said: 

“The development of a new and thriving economy for the south of Scotland has to be something all communities in the area sign up to and endorse so that we can bring the best possible opportunities and economic growth to the area.  The consultation meetings were well attended with a wealth of ideas  and views which will be at the heart of this new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.    From more opportunities for young people to improving our infrastructure, it’s an exciting time for the area and I look forward to seeing these ideas being brought to fruition.”