Dumfries and Galloway’s Energy Proposition – Vision Of The Future

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s vision for the best future for our region recognises that economy is the key to unlocking future potential of our communities and people.

The Councils Regional Economic Strategy 2016-2020 recognises that a prosperous economy will provide employment and income which will benefit everyone across the whole region, giving young people a reason to stay and attract new families here to live and work.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP paid a visit to the region recently to discuss how we have progressed with our Strategy this far, and how we are going to develop future initiatives. The main topic of discussion was the Dumfries and Galloway Energy Proposition.

Renewable energy is a key economic sector for Dumfries and Galloway. Our key projects should have significant impact locally and nationally in terms of investment, energy, job creation, sustaining our most fragile communities and environmental clean-up or regeneration of our industrial legacy.

The regions private sector is leading the way through the Economic Leadership Group which is endorsing renewable energy as our key economic opportunity. This ambitious partnership agreement seeks to capitalise on our potential. Clean, efficient, renewable energy is the energy of the future. We have already heard of the intentions to reduce emissions by introducing more electric cars on our roads, building designs look to maximise on power from alternative sources. Dumfries and Galloway is in a unique position to maximise this potential both geographically, by being close to England, Ireland and having easy access to the rest of Scotland, and by having adaptable, cost effective manpower available.
Investment is still needed in the local infrastructure in order to connect supply and demand through the National Grid, but this Strategy is a significant step forward to ensure employment, energy and a sustainable future climate.

Moray Mackenzie, from DuPont Tejin and Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Economic Leadership Group said: “The Economic Leadership Team is keen to develop the renewable energy sector as a vehicle to bring new jobs to the region over time by attracting new businesses to invest here and we are pleased that the Minister took the time to visit our region and hear about our plans. We aim to create a regional strategy based on our ‘natural assets’ which is well aligned with the Scottish Government’s draft climate change plan. There is also the exciting opportunity to link our plans to Dumfries and Galloway college provision and think about innovation in its broader sense. Clearly there is a lot to do to transform the proposal from an idea to something concrete but there’s a sense of a number of things aligning and, with the Minister’s help, we’ll look to progress this through local private and public sector bodies”.
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “We have recognised the importance of providing dedicated enterprise support in the South of Scotland to meet the region’s distinct economic challenges and capitalise upon its strengths. The new agency will be able to tailor its approach to best meet the economic needs of communities across the region and optimise support for local businesses. This will help drive the necessary innovation, investment and internationalisation that will deliver both stronger economic growth and greater prosperity within the region.
“We look forward to working with Dumfries and Galloway council and its economic leadership group as we shape what the new agency will do. Harnessing the drive, enthusiasm and expertise of the private sector will be a key factor in ensuring the new South of Scotland enterprise agency is a success and I look forward to further engagement as the group develops its own proposition.”
Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee went on to say: “This is a vitally important Strategy for our Region’s future. With investment in renewable energy and the provision of the correct future skills training from our colleges we will be providing the best possible future for our children, not to mention our climate.
It is an ambitious project, but this is reflected in the large scale of investment, with over £500m into two projects alone: Chapelcross regeneration, the former nuclear power station near Annan, and the Pump Hydro Scheme being developed at the former Glenmuckloch open cast mine in Upper Nithsdale. “

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