South of Scotland Economic Partnership
People in the South of Scotland can help shape the agency being established to reinvigorate the area’s economy.
A Scottish Government consultation will seek the views of the local community and beyond on the shape of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.
Launching the consultation, Economy Secretary Keith Brown announced it was “a milestone moment for the future prosperity” of the area.
The Cabinet Secretary was speaking as he prepared to update the Scottish Parliament on the work of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership - the interim arrangement set up to deliver a fresh approach to economic growth in the area and pave the way for the new agency, with a £10million funding boost for the region announced in the budget.
Mr Brown added:
“The consultation will ask the people, businesses and the voluntary sector across the South of Scotland what would make this agency work for them.
“We have set out our overarching vision for the Agency that drives inclusive growth across the area. We now want people to help shape the detail of the activity the Agency can take forward to deliver those aims.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to transform the area’s economy, building on its significant strengths and traditions. And the launch of this consultation is a milestone moment for the future prosperity of the region.
“The South of Scotland is a beautiful area and has played a long and important part in the history of the Scottish economy. It nurtured Scotland’s textile industry, its agriculture and forestry sectors are thriving, and it has a growing tourism industry.
“It 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.”
The consultation opens today (March 15) and will close on 7 June.
Responses to the consultation will help inform the legislation to establish the agency and help shape its structure. A report summarising the outcome of the consultation will be published in July.
South of Scotland Economic Partnership chair Professor Russell Griggs added:
“We are ambitious for the South of Scotland. The Scottish Government has made a positive commitment to the area and today’s consultation launch takes us a step closer to the Agency we need.
“We want to make sure that people across the South of Scotland take this opportunity to shape their future.
“Over the next few months we will be out and about meeting communities and businesses to hear about what matters to them and what the new agency can do to support them.”
The South of Scotland Economic Partnership was launched in January.col03