South of Scotland enterprise agency views canvassed

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TextilesImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The agency hopes to boost the economic fortunes of the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway

A Holyrood committee is seeking views on the establishment of a new enterprise agency dedicated to the south of Scotland.

Plans to create the body for the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway were confirmed last year.

Since then work has been ongoing to set it up via the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

Now the rural economy and connectivity committee is calling for views on the bill to create the new agency.

It would co-exist with Scotland's two other enterprise agencies - Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Image source, Scottish Parliament
Image caption,
Edward Mountain is convener of the committee which wants to hear views on the plans for the agency

Committee convener Edward Mountain MSP said: "Our committee is seeking views on a new, dedicated enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.

"In particular, we would like to hear from businesses and from people living and working in the area.

"The bill sets out the detail for how the new agency will be set up to support businesses and promote growth in the economy, enterprise and skills across the region."

He said they wanted to know if people agreed with what was proposed.

He asked: "What should this agency look like, what should its duties be and how can it encourage economic development, productivity and sustainability in the region?"

The questions that will form part of the inquiry are:

  • Do you agree that a south of Scotland enterprise agency should be created?
  • Do you agree with the proposals for the body's constitution, purposes, powers and duties?
  • If you do not agree with the proposals, what would you like to change?
  • Is there anything else that should be included or excluded from the bill?

As part of this call for views, the committee will hold a number of events, including a formal committee meeting in the south of Scotland.

Other engagement activities with local businesses, community representatives and young people are planned in order to find out how the proposed enterprise agency could impact on future economic development.

A survey can be completed online or more detailed submissions can be sent to the Scottish Parliament.

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