Views are being sought from interested parties across the Borders to help compile a to-do list for the forthcoming enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.
Businesses, agencies, other organisations and individuals are being invited to have their say at a series of engagement events being arranged by the interim south of Scotland economic partnership from next Monday, April 16, to Thursday, June 7, at venues from Eyemouth to Stranraer.
The events are intended to allow those regarding themselves as stakeholders to offer opinions on what powers they would like the enterprise agency to have and what they think its priorities should be following its launch in 2020.
The Scottish Government is already carrying out a consultation on the brief for the new agency, and feedback generated by the upcoming meetings will be added to the responses it yields.
Partnership chairman Russel Griggs said: “This is an exciting time for the south of Scotland, and it is a time when our collective voice, and indeed our individual voices, are being heard at the highest levels in both Scotland and
across the UK.
“It is therefore vital that the partnership hears from our local businesses and other stakeholders to ensure that their views are being taken into account.
These events will enable them to influence both the future development of the south of Scotland enterprise agency and the partnership’s work programme.”
The stakeholder events are being managed by the Southern Uplands Partnership on behalf of the partnership.
Entry is free, and places can be booked at www.sup.org.uk/sosep.asp
Professor Griggs, formerly Scottish Enterprise’s executive director for investment and business development, added: “The establishment of the partnership and the future development of the south of Scotland enterprise agency will generate a renewed commitment that will bring investment, innovation and a fresh approach for the south of Scotland, shining a collective spotlight on the whole region for the first time.
“The partnership offers an opportunity for greater collaboration and closer working across all sectors. It is important for us to work with businesses of all sizes to understand the issues and opportunities that exist and how best the
partnership, and in due course the enterprise agency, can attempt to address these and drive inclusive growth across the area.
“Growth will come from small and medium-sized enterprises expanding and developing across the region, and private-sector support is crucial to the success of the partnership.”
The partnership, launched in December and given a £10m budget by the Scottish Government, is made up of seven public-sector partners and seven private-sector representatives, plus three representing the third sector and two doing likewise for higher and further education.
The first of the upcoming engagement events will be held at the Auld Cross Keys in Denholm next Monday at 7pm, followed by another at the Heart of Hawick the day after, April 17, at 8.30am.
Others will follow at Eyemouth Hippodrome on Thursday, April 26, at 7pm and Friday, April 27, at 8.30am; West Linton’s Newlands Centre on Wednesday, May 2, at 7pm; the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles at 7pm on Wednesday, May 9, and 8.30am the day after; the Kingsknowe Hotel at Galashiels at 7pm on Thursday, May 10, and 8.30am the next day; Newcastleton Village Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, May 22; Kelso’s Abbey Row Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 23; Hawick’s Mansfield House Hotel at 7pm on Thursday, May 31; Innerleithen Memorial Hall at 7pm on Monday, June 4; and, wrapping things up, the Tweed Room at Ettrick Riverside in Selkirk at 7pm on Thursday, June 7.