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Working with local and national partners to support businesses and communities deal with the COVID-19 crisis is the priority of the new South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE).

The agency is working closely with Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council and other partners to add to the collective response which is already well underway, with a co-ordinating group having been formed.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of SoSE (pictured) said: “Today we go live as the new Economic Agency for the South of Scotland in the middle of a global public health crisis which is impacting on our economy.  We need to recognise the severity of the situation for many and we also need to look ahead to supporting the recovery. 

“In order to support our region, it is absolutely vital that we work as one collective voice for the South of Scotland alongside both councils to support this response in any way we can, and in a way that best serves the needs of communities and businesses across the region. 

“As part of that, we need to fully understand how best we can align our resources to help complement and potentially add to the local and national support packages already in place in a way that supports the unique challenges of the South. 

“We have already had very productive discussions with both councils and continue to work with them as well as other partners to develop plans around where we can potentially add to support and resources during this extremely difficult time.”

Specific needs

Nick Halfhide, Interim Chief Executive of SoSE explained: “We fully understand this is a really upsetting and uncertain time for families, businesses and communities. The scale of the challenge is one which can only ever be overcome by everyone pulling together and identifying the specific needs in our region.

“SOSE will take some time to evolve as any new organisation would, but we are focusing our priorities and are committed to working together with our partners to deliver what’s needed in the best interest of our communities.”

"The scale of the challenge is one which can only ever be overcome by everyone pulling together and identifying the specific needs in our region."

Nick Halfhide, Interim Chief Executive of SoSE

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy said: ‘Scotland’s newest enterprise agency is starting its work facing economic circumstances that none of us could have predicted. I know that South of Scotland Enterprise, with a great team at its helm, will rise to that challenge.

“Its number one priority is now to help with the response to the COVID-19 crisis, working in partnership with national and local agencies to mitigate its impacts on businesses and communities across the South of Scotland.

“With a firm focus on the specific needs and circumstances of the south, I know that South of Scotland Enterprise will work with pace and purpose to support economic resilience and recovery, unlock the region’s full economic potential, and make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives.”

Learn more

Find out more about the new agency at southofscotlandenterprise.com

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