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Many of the Scottish Government consultation respondents also suggested that South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) should also focus on improving infrastructure and  creating a more diverse local economy, whilst ensuring those sectors that are traditionally important to the area, continue to be valued.
Commenting on the consultation report, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:  “We recognise the need for a new approach in the South of Scotland, which addresses key challenges facing the area, which is why we moved to create a new enterprise agency. That agency will be crucial in transforming the fortunes of this important economic region, by working with local partners to create a clear vision, and putting in place the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth.


"Some work is already underway to achieve that, with £7.7 million being awarded to projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders by SOSE’s interim partnership in July, to provide careers opportunities and build community resilience.

“We’ve had a very strong response to the consultation, and it was encouraging to see that the majority of respondents agreeing with the Scottish Government’s proposals. I was also interested to read of concerns regarding potential loss of funding post-Brexit, a lack of education and skills opportunities, and restrictions to business growth caused by burdensome bureaucracy. We will now take the time to carefully consider all the views and ideas submitted.”

The pre-legislative public consultation on the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency ran for 12 weeks between 15 March and 7 June.  The consultation sought views to help inform the legislation to establish the Agency, outlining its powers and scope, as well as assisting in shaping the detail of the Agency and the operational work we are taking forward to establish it. 
The formal written consultation was supplemented by 26 engagement events.  The consultation was organised by the South of Scotland Economic Partnership which brings together key public sector partners on an interim basis until the Agency is launched in April 2020.   The events took the form of morning and evening public meetings in towns and villages across the South.  The events were well attended by a total of 536 people ranging from business-owners and entrepreneurs, to people from community groups and interested individuals.

Of the 268 responses to the consultation, 153 came from individuals (57%) and 115 from organisations (43%). 87% of respondents stated that they agreed with the Scottish Government’s vision.

A copy of the full report can be found here


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