Follow VisitScotland

VisitScotland welcomes publication of South of Scotland Enterprise Agency Consultation

Press release   •   Oct 03, 2018 10:34 BST

A total of 26 engagement events were held across Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders earlier this year

VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead has welcomed the publication of the consultation report on the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.

He said: “It is encouraging to see that so many individuals and businesses have taken the opportunity to take part in this consultation exercise. The south of Scotland now has a voice which is as loud as other parts of Scotland. This will be an agency for the south, by the south.

“The economy of the south of Scotland will benefit greatly from this new impetus to stimulate growth and success. Scotland is about building bridges, connecting places and bringing people together. Tourism is at the heart of this – it touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change. We need to be ambitious about our area to ensure we fulfil our potential – and this partnership will allow us to invest in and develop new talent and new thinking.”

Huge support for Scottish Government’s vision for South of Scotland

Investment in innovation, good employment opportunities, the creation of a skilled workforce, and more opportunities for young people, were some of the issues identified by respondents to a Scottish Government consultation, as being key to the future success of the new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland.

Many of the 268 respondents to the consultation also suggested that South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) should focus on improving infrastructure and creating a more diverse local economy, whilst ensuring those sectors that are traditionally important to the area, continue to be valued.

Commenting on the consultation report, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“We recognise the need for a new approach in the South of Scotland, which addresses key challenges facing the area, which is why we moved to create a new enterprise agency. That agency will be crucial in transforming the fortunes of this important economic region, by working with local partners to create a clear vision, and putting in place the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth. Some work is already underway to achieve that, with £7.7 million being awarded to projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders by SOSE’s interim partnership in July, to provide careers opportunities and build community resilience.

“We’ve had a very strong response to the consultation, and it was encouraging to see that the majority of respondents agreeing with the Scottish Government’s proposals. I was also interested to read of concerns regarding potential loss of funding post-Brexit, a lack of education and skills opportunities, and restrictions to business growth caused by burdensome bureaucracy.

“I’m very grateful to all those who took the time to respond. We will now take the time to carefully consider all the views and ideas submitted.”

Russel Griggs Chair of South of Scotland Economic Partnership said:

“The development of a new and thriving economy for the south of Scotland has to be something all communities in the area sign up to and endorse so that we can bring the best possible opportunities and economic growth to the area. This consultation meetings were well attended with a wealth of ideas and views which will be at the heart of this new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland. From more opportunities for young people to improving our infrastructure, it’s an exciting time for the area and I look forward to seeing these ideas being brought to fruition.”


The full report can be found here: 

The pre-legislative public consultation on the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency ran for 12 weeks between 15 March and 7 June. The consultation sought views to help inform the legislation to establish the Agency, outlining its powers and scope, as well as assisting in shaping the detail of the Agency and the operational work we are taking forward to establish it. We received 268 responses.

The formal written consultation was supplemented by 26 engagement events. The consultation was organised by the South of Scotland Economic Partnership which brings together key public sector partners on an interim basis until the Agency is launched in April 2020. The events took the form of morning and evening public meetings in towns and villages across the South. The events were well attended by a total of 536 people ranging from business-owners and entrepreneurs, to people from community groups and interested individuals.

Of the 268 responses to the consultation, 153 came from individuals (57%) and 115 from organisations (43%).

87% of respondents stated that they agreed with the Scottish Government’s vision. 

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • Culture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.