Joan McAlpine MSP praises South of Scotland Enterprise for achievements during first year of operation

South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine, has praised the achievements of South of Scotland Enterprise as the first anniversary of the agency’s launch approaches next week.

The SNP MSPs comments follows news that the agency recently awarded a £4.8 million grant to Annan firm, Alpha Solway to expand their operations in the region, including building a new factory in Dumfries. The company manufacture Personal Protective Equipment and last year secured a major contract to supply the Scottish NHS. The latest move will create around 300 new jobs for Dumfries and Galloway. 

In total, SOSE has now distributed over £25.9 million to over 2800 businesses across the south of Scotland including tourist attractions, accommodation providers, social enterprises, food producers and community groups.

The agency is currently distributing the Scottish Government’s Scottish Wedding Industry Fund, aimed at supporting venues, caterers and other supply chain businesses in the sector who have been affected by the pandemic.

 

joan Mcalpine

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said,

“I’d been campaigning for an enterprise agency for the south of Scotland for many years, so I was delighted when SOSE officially opened its doors on the first of April last year.

“However, none of us knew then what a vital role the agency would go on to play supporting businesses, community groups and third sector organisations through what was to become the most challenging year in living memory.

“Fortunately SOSE was able to hit the ground running as the pandemic took hold last year has now gone on to prove its value to the region, distributing over £25 million in financial aid and offering other invaluable advice, guidance and business support. This includes helping the Langholm community to buy out their land to develop as a resource and funds to assist the regeneration of Dumfries High Street.

“The recent announcement of 300 new jobs at Alpha Solway thanks to SOSE support of £4.8m is fantastic news for the region and will go a long way to helping the local economy recover from the devastation caused by the pandemic. We couldn’t have hoped for more from our enterprise company when it launched this time last year.”