Strengthening South of Scotland’s Economy With New Enterprise Agency

A new enterprise agency will be created to meet the economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.
The final report from the Enterprise and Skills Review contains a wide range of measures to support business, ensure young people have access to the right skills, and create growth across the Scottish economy.
They include improved access to innovation, enterprise and international support and streamlined skills provision.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown launched the report while meeting with Kite Power Systems – a company that has secured £7m of equity funding for its innovative approach to harnessing wind energy.
He said:
“This report shows how we can transform the performance of our economy and enable more businesses to deliver strong, vibrant and inclusive growth at scale.
“From better co-ordination of our international activity to ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to succeed, this review has delivered a package of reforms that will drive change across the country.
“We have recognised the importance of providing dedicated support to the South of Scotland in the same way we currently do for the Highlands and Islands. A new agency will be established to meet the distinctive economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.
“We are putting a greater urgency behind our innovation action plan and joining up the efforts of our skills agencies to help learners and businesses get the training they need. Businesses will benefit from streamlined innovation support through a new digital access point, building on the recent success that has seen Scotland move into the top group of EU nations as regards innovation performance.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has welcomed today’s announcement that a new South of Scotland Agency as a result of the Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review. Scottish Minister, Keith Brown, made the announcement when visiting Kellwood Electrical in Dumfries this morning (Thursday).

Following the announcement, Archie Dryburgh, Chair of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure committee said

“the South of Scotland faces a number of unique challenges including the rural nature of region, the seasonal nature of the tourism sector and a lower proportion of a young and working aged population. This report has acknowledged these challenges and that something needs to be done.
“The creation of a new South of Scotland Agency means that we are able to provide tailored business support to the needs of the area’s business base which will in turn boost our local economy and support the development of enterprising communities, identifying the skills needs of the area and how they can best be met.
“There is a South of Scotland Alliance meeting tomorrow. We will discuss the announcement of the new South of Scotland Agency with our partners and its implications. The Council has been working with the Scottish Government to get to this point and we will continue to do so over the forthcoming months to ensure that this new Agency is of the right scale and addresses the issues faced by the South of Scotland.”
“The fundamentals of Scotland’s economy are strong and – as this report confirms – we are doing all that we can to build upon these further.”

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