South of Scotland Enterprise Board Members appointed

The new South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has announced its Board members and held its first meeting to discuss how SOSE can help support the region deal with the impact of Covid-19.

The ten members of the Board have a broad range of knowledge and experience and, alongside the Chair Professor Russel Griggs OBE, will drive forward the vision of SOSE to establish the South of Scotland as a centre of opportunity, innovation and growth.

The Board will set the strategic direction of SOSE whilst taking account of legislation and policy guidance set by Scottish Ministers. It will meet in various locations across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, with its first meeting taking place urgently this Thursday in Gretna with a key focus on planning to help support the region deal with impact of COVID-19.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of the SOSE Board said: “The SOSE Board announced today bring with them a range of knowledge, expertise and passion for the South of Scotland – something which is essential for us to take forward our ambitious vision for the region.

“Those appointed have demonstrated evidence of seeing the bigger picture and have a real understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the south, which is vital to help us drive forward a new approach to economic development, growth and innovation.

“Not only was it important for us to ensure as many sectors are represented as possible, but we also have an equal representation of male and female members announced today with a vast range of skills, expertise and local knowledge required to drive forward our ambitions for the region.

“This is a time of unprecedented challenge for businesses and communities and we will of course be looking at our plans, as a matter of priority, for how we can support the South of Scotland in the best possible way to deal with the impact of COVID-19 into the future.”

Board Members are as follows:

  • Alastair Cameron - Managing Director of Scotmas Group, world leading designers and manufacturers of water treatment, hygiene and environmental care systems. Alistair has built his career in the Life and Chemical sciences sector growing a 2 person, home based business, to becoming a major local employer, exporting to 32 countries worldwide.
  • Professor Sara Carter OBE FRSE - Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. A Professor of Entrepreneurship, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers to the First Minister of Scotland; the Enterprise & Skills Strategic Board; the Women in Enterprise Action Group and is Non-Executive Director of Women's Enterprise Scotland.
  • Alan Daubney – Managing Director and owner of ADCA Chartered Accountants which he set up in 2011. Alan is involved in a number of businesses and charities providing accounting and Financial Director roles.
  • Helen Forsyth - Chief Executive of Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) for over 12 years, during which time she has inspired staff to become number nine in the Sunday Times Best Companies not for profit section. Helen is Chair of Resilient Scotland and previously Chief Executive at Edinvar Housing Association.
  • Duncan McConchie - Managing Partner of Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre and GG’s Yard in Dumfries and Galloway. Duncan and his wife have transformed the business with the creation of on-site accommodation, GG’s Yard wedding and conference venue and soon to launch, Gather, their hillside kitchen/bistro.
  • Lindsay McDowall - Head of Services at Visibility Scotland, managing projects and services across Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Borders and throughout the west of Scotland. Locally, Lindsay has led and developed an award-winning community project in Dumfries and Galloway for Visibility Scotland and has a strong interest in building community resilience.
  • Kate Rowell – A veterinary surgeon and fifth generation sheep and suckler cow farmer from a hill and upland farm near Peebles. Kate is Chair of Quality Meat Scotland and an active member of the local National Farmers Union of Scotland branch.
  • Jeremy Sainsbury OBE FRICS - Director of international renewable energy consultancy Natural Power based in Dumfries and Galloway, serving Director of Energy UK, founder member of Scottish Renewables, serving as chairman, vice chairman and chair of the grid group.
  • Hazel Smith – Founder of ReTweed, a social enterprise based in Eyemouth delivering craft, heritage and textiles skills to women facing multiple barriers, breaking cycles of poverty, isolation and low aspiration. Hazel won Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the Herald Society awards in 2019 and has developed ReTweed to represent excellence in its field.
  • David Sulman – Over 40 years’ experience in the UK forestry and timber sector, David has been actively involved in several Forestry Commission and Forest Research specialist committees and has been a member of the Timber Transport Forum, former Chair of the Assessment Panel of the Scottish Strategic Timber Transport Scheme and served on the National Council of Rural Advisers.

Full biographies of the Board Members are available.

In the meantime, we are asking people to keep up to date with the Government response via the Scottish Government website with advice for communities and businesses available from findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice. A business helpline is also now available on 0300 303 0660.

Notes to editors

The South of Scotland Enterprise Act 2019 which provides the legal framework for SOSE, allows for a board of up to 10 members, plus the SOSE Chair and Chief Executive.

Scottish Government Ministers appointed six members through the public appointment process and the Board co-opted a further four members.

The South of Scotland Enterprise Act 2019 which was passed by Scottish Parliament in June 2019, provides the legal framework for SOSE operating in the local authority areas of the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.