Public, private and third sector groups in the South of Scotland have joined forces to develop the region’s first ever Regional Economic Strategy (RES) and are asking everyone to play their part to help shape the future of the region.
The strategy is a key focus of the South of Scotland’s Regional Economic Partnership (REP) which brings together a diverse range of interests, knowledge, experience and resources all valuable to the development of the RES for the South.
The RES will be vital to look to the future, beyond the current Coronavirus pandemic, with the aim of growing and developing a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy for the South of Scotland.
The consultation kicks off this week and is encouraging everyone to put forward their views on what they see is important for the region and what needs to be done collectively to help the South of Scotland flourish.
Depute Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Rob Davidson is the current Chair of the REP and said:
“For the first time in the South of Scotland, we have brought together key partners to form a Regional Economic Partnership, which is part of new structures created in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to help drive the economic success in our region. This includes developing this important Regional Economic Strategy for the South.
“We are actively encouraging everyone to give their views to help shape this absolutely vital strategic plan for the South of Scotland.
“Our future relies on us fully understanding the breadth of views and circumstances of everyone living and working here so it’s important that we get as wide a range of views on this as possible.”
Borders College Principal, Angela Cox commented:
“A partnership approach allows us to combine expertise, experience and resources in order for our area to benefit and maximise its potential in the most effective way.
"Borders College plays a key role in the future economy and being part of the new Regional Economic Partnership shows our commitment to being part of Team South of Scotland to respond to the unique challenges we face here in the South of Scotland.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Economic Regeneration and Finance, explained:
“This work is critical for the future of our economy in the South of Scotland.
“Now that we have the Regional Economic Partnership and a shared ambition across the partners, we need our communities, businesses and absolutely anyone who loves living and working here to give their views.
“We are focused on making swift progress on this to ensure we lay a foundation for where we are going in the future. I look forward to seeing this critical work for the whole of the South develop over the coming months.”
Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) Professor Russel Griggs OBE added:
“Despite the challenges we are currently facing, we must be optimistic and, as well as responding to the current pandemic, we must also look at the future of the economy beyond COVID-19.
“We remain true to our word that we are here to be bold, and ambitious for the South of Scotland. and are working exceptionally hard collectively as a partnership to make things happen. Working as a collective is key to driving our success.
“SOSE has always said we are for the South, by the South and in the South – so we can only make plans by listening to those who live and work here.
“Without your voices, we cannot shape a strategy that meets everyone’s expectations.
“So, I would urge as many people as possible to give their views and take part in this extremely important consultation to shape our future economy.”
You can also phone 01387 454032 for more information and to give your views.