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The South of Scotland Enterprise Agency is Coming!

A new enterprise agency designed to boost the economy of the South of Scotland region will be up and running in eight months’ time, the Scottish Government has pledged.

 

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing hailed the passing of legislation to set up the organisation as a “momentous day” for the area.

The new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency will cover the Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders regions.

And Mr Ewing said it would work to “transform the area’s economy by building on its strengths and its traditions”.

Speaking as MSPs as debated the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill, he said the agency would help “respond to the different and distinct rural economy”.

Mr Ewing said: “We all recognise the untapped potential of the South of Scotland – it has real strengths in traditional sectors like farming, forestry, fishing and textiles.

“It has developed sectors like food and drink, tourism and creative industries and it has opportunities to contribute to the industries of the future, not least in the low carbon economy.

“This Bill sets out the legislative basis for a new agency with the right powers to take forward the right activities.”

MSPs unanimously approved the legislation, with work now underway to appoint a chair for the new organisation.

 

Commenting on the passing of legislation for the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, Kenny Bowie, President, DGChamber, said:

 

“We are pleased the Scottish Parliament has unanimously backed the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. This will act as an important enabler of economic growth in the region and address the specific challenges our business communities are tackling. DGChamber is ready to play an active role to unlock the potential of our innovative businesses. As the Government now moves ahead to establish the new agency, it is critical the private sector is fully engaged, making sure our expertise and connections are leveraged so we can realise the full economic potential of the South of Scotland region.”

 

LIz Cameron

 

Commenting on the passing of legislation for the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, Liz Cameron, Director and Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“The South of Scotland is an important contributor to Scotland’s economic growth and the unanimous Parliamentary backing of this bill is testament to the potential of the region. From farming to textiles, to tourism and fishing, the region is brimming with economic opportunities. As the establishment of the agency moves to the next stage, collaboration must be at its heart, bringing together private and public sector. Only then, will the agency realise its full potential as an economic catalyst for the region.”

 

The Regions MSP's have also been having their say on the changes that have been made to the Agency.

 

Colin Smyth

Colin Smyth said

“I’m pleased to have made a number of changes to the proposals for a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency that will make it far more locally accountable. We need an Agency that is for the south, from the south. Unless it finds local solutions to the local challenges- and opportunities- facing the economy and communities in the region then the agency will not deliver on its aims. That means listening to the communities within the South of Scotland. Having campaigned for an Agency for a decade I am pleased the final proposals have now been agreed by Parliament. It’s time to get on with setting up the agency and making sure it delivers for our region. I will certainly be holding it to account to make sure it does.”

 

Joan McAlpine MSP

Joan McAlpine said:

“The vibrancy of our areas culture is renowned locally, nationally and internationally.

“From the Abbeys of the Borders to the Castles and Standing Stones of Dumfries and Galloway, the South has a heritage to be proud of.

“Art and culture play an important role in engagement and energising communities and community development which is very much in the spirit of what we’re doing with this Bill.

“The South of Scotland was an important player in Scotland’s early textile industry, its agriculture and forestry sectors are thriving, and it has a growing tourism industry. It also has a diverse business base, many of which are small, and family owned. The economic seeds are all there and, with the right nurturing, can flourish.”

COLIN SMYTH SECURES CHANGES TO ENTERPRISE AGENCY PROPOSALS, AS PARLIAMENT BACKS FINAL PLANS

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has secured changes to proposals for a new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency that will ensure it is more locally accountable.

Breakfast attendees at Colin's breakfast meeting

 

 

Parliament backed the local MSPs amendment on consultation as it agreed the final legislation yesterday (5 June 2019) that will pave the way for the new Agency to be established and up and running by April 2020.

The proposal from Colin Smyth makes it a legal requirement for the new agency to consult people in the South of Scotland, including the two local councils, on their proposed action plan as well as performance and to ensure that the action plan is reviewed by the agency at least every five years.

It is one of a number of changes to the legislation secured by Colin Smyth through the process including strengthening the Agency’s aims to cover improving transport and digital connectivity and supporting social enterprises. Following pressure from Colin Smyth the Government also agreed to ensure that workers have a voice in the running of the new Agency with a commitment to establish a Workers Interest Committee to advise the new agency and the new Board must include members with knowledge or experience of workers issues such as Trade Unions.

Colin Smyth said, “I’m pleased to have made a number of changes to the proposals for a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency that will make it far more locally accountable. We need an Agency that is for the south, from the south. Unless it finds local solutions to the local challenges- and opportunities- facing the economy and communities in the region then the agency will not deliver on its aims. That means listening to the communities within the South of Scotland. Having campaigned for an Agency for a decade I am pleased the final proposals have now been agreed by Parliament. It’s time to get on with setting up the agency and making sure it delivers for our region. I will certainly be holding it to account to make sure it does.”

Enterprise Bill is momentous for South of Scotland, MSPs told

A new enterprise agency designed to boost the economy of the South of Scotland region will be up and running in eight months’ time, the Scottish Government has pledged.

 

 

 

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing hailed the passing of legislation to set up the organisation as a “momentous day” for the area.

The new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency will cover the Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders regions.

And Mr Ewing said it would work to “transform the area’s economy by building on its strengths and its traditions”.

Speaking as MSPs as debated the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill, he said the agency would help “respond to the different and distinct rural economy”.

Mr Ewing said: “We all recognise the untapped potential of the South of Scotland – it has real strengths in traditional sectors like farming, forestry, fishing and textiles.

“It has developed sectors like food and drink, tourism and creative industries and it has opportunities to contribute to the industries of the future, not least in the low carbon economy.

“This Bill sets out the legislative basis for a new agency with the right powers to take forward the right activities.”

MSPs unanimously approved the legislation, with work now underway to appoint a chair for the new organisation.

SOSE Bill Passed by Parliament; will Acknowledge the Value of Cultural and Natural Heritage to South Scotland Economy

South of Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has secured a late change to the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill to acknowledge the powerful role that cultural and natural heritage plays in the local economy.

In a momentous day for the region, the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill was passed unanimously by Parliament on Wednesday (5/06/2019). This fantastic development comes after many years of campaigning for a South of Scotland Economic Agency which Joan McAlpine has supported in full.

 

Joan McAlpine MSP

 

The Bill will establish a new South of Scotland agency which will take a fresh, tailored approach to supporting the economy of the South of Scotland, ensuring the South has the strong role in Scotland’s economy that it deserves and supporting business interests in the region.

Ms McAlpine, who is convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Committee on Culture, Tourism, Europe, and External Relations chose to highlight the work of projects like The Stove Network, Midsteeple Quarter Project, and Creative Futures which all use cultural programmes to drive economic regeneration and community development work in Dumfries town.

Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing MSP has said that the new agency could be up and running within 8 months.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliamentary debate, Joan McAlpine said:

“The vibrancy of our areas culture is renowned locally, nationally and internationally.

“From the Abbeys of the Borders to the Castles and Standing Stones of Dumfries and Galloway, the South has a heritage to be proud of.

“Art and culture play an important role in engagement and energising communities and community development which is very much in the spirit of what we’re doing with this Bill.

“The South of Scotland was an important player in Scotland’s early textile industry, its agriculture and forestry sectors are thriving, and it has a growing tourism industry. It also has a diverse business base, many of which are small, and family owned. The economic seeds are all there and, with the right nurturing, can flourish.”

US TRADE DEAL THREAT TO LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK WARNS MCALPINE

SNP MSP for South Scotland, Joan McAlpine, has warned that farmers and food producers in Dumfries and Galloway could be hit by a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump – after the US ambassador reiterated demands for major concessions from the UK.

 

Joan McAlpine MSP

 

The Trump administration want the UK to accept lower food safety standards than exist within the European Union, allowing US products such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef to be sold in the UK – undercutting our own food producers.

The US ambassador this week confirmed that a future trade deal would require access to “the entire economy”, potentially impacting other sectors such as the NHS.

There are also concerns that Scottish products, such as Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Scotch Whisky, could lose their protected status after Brexit – allowing cheap-knock offs to be sold.

Commenting, Ms Joan McAlpine said:

“Scotland has top-quality food safety standards, in line with the rest of the EU, protecting consumers and our world-renowned Scottish produce.

“But that’s now under threat, with the Tories planning to sell out Scottish food producers as part of a damaging back-room trade deal with Donald Trump.

“As a member of the EU, local products like Scotch Beef and Lamb have been protected from cheap market knock offs - we can’t allow the Tories to take a take a wrecking ball to our booming food and drink sector here in Dumfries and Galloway.

“The UK government’s shambolic approach to Brexit leaves them in an exceptionally weak bargaining position – with Tory leadership contenders competing to be the most reckless with our economic future.

“There’s a real danger that, if Brexit happens, the next Prime Minister will be absolutely desperate to sign whatever damaging trade-deal Trump demands.

“Scotland voted overwhelmingly against Brexit – and the threat of selling out Dumfries and Galloway’s food producers shows exactly why we need to stop it.”