Scotland’s Chief Statistician has proposed creating a new European statistical region for the South of Scotland.

The move would see Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire and East, South and North Ayrshire together forming the South of Scotland region – meaning Scotland would have five Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) Areas, rather than four.

The Chief Statistician’s recommendation now goes to the Office of National Statistics to submit for a final decision by the European Statistical body EUROSTAT.

Chief Statistician Roger Halliday said:

“We have the responsibility to ensure reporting of Scottish statistics best reflects local circumstances. The changes being proposed today will improve statistical reporting to the EU for Scotland and mean we are reporting our economic indicators and other statistics that better show the experiences of people and businesses across different areas of the country.

“Much of the area covered by the new South of Scotland is rural and these changes could help the region focus on problems inherent to the rural south, as well as helping identify any inequality between southern Scotland and the more urban central belt.

“We have worked with local authorities in the new region to make this positive change happen and will continue to work hard with them and other partners as these changes are implemented.”

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