Transport, population and skills on the agenda at Inaugural Convention of South of Scotland

Scottish Ministers will meet with local authorities and public enterprise agencies in Dumfries, as part of a new forum aimed at addressing issues specific to the South of Scotland.

The biannual Convention of the South of Scotland (CoSS) will be chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and will also include Transport Secretary Michael Matheson and Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing.

The meeting is aimed at strengthening alignment between the Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, and other public agencies, in order to drive inclusive growth and agreeing a tailored approach to tackling issues including:

• enabling sustainable economic development
• creating an effective public transport system – particularly for rural communities
• maximising education, jobs and skills opportunities
• driving population change and addressing demographic challenges

Speaking ahead of the Convention, Mr Swinney said:
The creation of this new forum will allow Scottish Government Ministers to work more closely with local authorities and stakeholders to get invaluable input for tackling long-term challenges such population growth and ensuring young people have ample training and employment opportunities.
“The Convention provides a unique platform to strengthen the relationship between national and local government and is one of a number of exciting developments in the region – along with the creation of a new enterprise agency and our investment of £85 million in the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
“I look forward to the inaugural meeting of the Convention, where I will take the opportunity to discuss with members a collective ambition for the economic future of the South of Scotland.”


• The inaugural Convention takes place on Monday 3rd February, at the Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankhead Road, Dumfries, DG1 4TA

• The Convention will meet biannually, in February and September, be held in locations across the South of Scotland, and hosted by the two local authorities. The Agenda will be agreed between members and the Deputy First Minister John Swinney

• Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, and Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing will be in attendance on behalf of the Scottish Government

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