A new south of Scotland enterprise agency is currently in the planning and everyone is being given the chance to have their say about where its focus should be.
With over £2 billion a year spent by the Scottish Government on economic development, the potential for millions of pounds of investment in the Borders via the new enterprise agency is seen as a once in a lifetime opportunity for the region.
A series of consultation meetings is currently taking place across the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway so that the partnership, established to set out the structure and priorities of the enterprise agency and with a £10m budget this year to get the economic ball rolling, can find out what local people believe will help boost the economy and make the area more prosperous and more a more attractive place to live and work.
Whatever format the new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland takes, its aims will be: to drive the economy forward; to safeguard sustainable and growing communities; and to capitalise on opportunities.
Speaking at a meeting in Eyemouth Hippodrome last week, the partnership chair, Russel Grigg said: “It’s an exciting time.
“What we want to hear is the voice of the south of Scotland because without that voice we will get a south of Scotland economic agency put upon us.
“We will stand up for the south and be its economic voice.”
At Eyemouth the message sent by the local people attending was that improved public transport, training opportunities close enough for people to realistically be able to attend and more support for the many small businesses in the area were high on their agenda.
The consultation period on the new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland is open until June 7: https://consult.gov.scot/economic-policy-unit/new-enterprise-agency-for-the-south-of-scotland