South of Scotland to be focus of new enterprise agency

The announcement was made by Keith Brown MSP.
The announcement was made by Keith Brown MSP.
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A new enterprise agency will be set up in the south of Scotland aimed at meeting the region’s “distinctive economic needs”, the Economy Secretary has said.

The agency is one of a number of measures contained in the final report from an enterprise and skills review.

Other plans include piloting a £500,000 college innovation fund to support Scotland’s colleges to work with businesses on innovation, and better co-ordination of international activity to boost trade and investment.

A strategic board will also be set up in autumn 2017, guiding the overall direction of the enterprise and skills agencies.

Keith Brown launched the report during a visit to south of Scotland business Kite Power Systems, a company that has secured £7 million for its innovative approach to harnessing wind energy.

He said: “This report shows how we can transform the performance of our economy and enable more businesses to deliver strong, vibrant and inclusive growth at scale.

“From better co-ordination of our international activity to ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to succeed, this review has delivered a package of reforms that will drive change across the country.

“We have recognised the importance of providing dedicated support to the south of Scotland in the same way we currently do for the Highlands and Islands.

“A new agency will be established to meet the distinctive economic needs of communities in the south of Scotland.

“The fundamentals of Scotland’s economy are strong and - as this report confirms - we are doing all that we can to build upon these further.”