The Partnership is committed to delivering a strong programme of engagement with stakeholders across the South of Scotland, including the private sector to ensure that they influence the work programme and can inform the proposals for the new Agency.
The Partnership will work with businesses in the South of Scotland to understand the issues and opportunities that exist and how best to address these in driving inclusive growth across the area.
This task has been addressed by holding 27 stakeholder engagement events and will be further addressed by the analysis undertaken on the outcome from these events.
Feedback from the events was fed into the Scottish Government’s consultation on the formation of the agency.
A summary report has been published which reflects on the series of engagement events and the feedback received.
The main outcomes from the consultation are:
- The economy of the south of Scotland is different; not necessarily weaker
- The profile of the south of Scotland needs to be addressed
- A focus on the requirements of young people is essential to counter an aging demographic - with concerns around sustainable housing and employment
- The provision of training that develop the skills of those seeking employment is essential to secure sustainable employment and business goals
- The provision of better transport connectivity is required
- Diverse support from the new Agency should be wide ranging, easily accessible and transparent
- Focus on strengthening our individual communities – making the area an exemplar for inclusive growth
- Digital connectivity remains a challenge - mostly around take-up, exploitation and securing economic advantage
- The suggested geographic area is correct – but must reach every part of the area
- A sector specific approach is vital and prioritised sectors should be the ones that deliver the strongest economy in the future
- Data – there is a need to collect accurate data for the area