Making the Scottish Borders the best rural economy in Scotland is the ambitious ten year goal for Scottish Borders Council.
How they plan on achieving that goal was laid out this week in their draft economic strategy programme, and a seafood technology park in Eyemouth, plus a focus on tourism, the food and drink sector and renewables along the Berwickshire coasts are regarded as key to the district’s economic success.
Councillors are being asked to sign up to the programme’s aims that: “By 2023 the Scottish Borders will be amongst the best performing and most productive rural economies in Scotland.
“By supporting existing businesses and encouraging higher value economic activity, our quality of life will increase. The Borders will become a location of choice for growing businesses and for people to live and work.”
Their targets are to support the creation or safeguarding of 2000 jobs in the Borders, to support £200 million of investment and development in the region and to support 1000 people moving into work or learning.
Retaining well-qualified young people in the region has long been a challenge, and this is acknowledged in the draft plan: “To make the Scottish Borders a more attractive place to live and work and arrest the out-migration of our young people, the area needs to offer alternative options to stay in the area; locate to the area; and/or raise the value of employment on offer - this is a key challenge looking foward to 2023.”