Delivery Plan launched for South of Scotland Regional Economic Strategy

Published:  3 December 2021

A series of tangible actions to take forward a fairer, greener and flourishing South of Scotland have been agreed.

The actions are included in the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) Delivery Plan, which sets out how the Strategy’s 10-year vision for the communities, businesses and people of the South will be achieved.

Flexible Delivery Plan

  • The Delivery Plan looks up to three years ahead, and aims to be flexible in order to adapt to the changes experienced in the South of Scotland. 
  • The Delivery Plan follows the launch of the RES in September 2021 by the South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership (REP), which is made up of representatives from a wide range of organisations, sectors and groups who are based in, or work across the region. 

Each of the Delivery Plan’s actions make clear who the key partners are and the timescales for completion, and are all focussed around six priority themes:

  • Skilled and Ambitious People
  • Innovative and Enterprising
  • Rewarding and Fair Work
  • Cultural and Creative Excellence
  • Green and Sustainable Economy
  • Thriving and Distinct Communities

Who is the South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership?

The REP first met virtually in September 2020 and agreed that its immediate focus needed to be the development of a South of Scotland-wide economic strategy.  

The development of the RES and its accompanying Delivery Plan has been driven forward by REP members, alongside extensive analysis, evidence and engagement with over 1,400 voices from the South – including 300 young people.

The South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership (REP) is the forum that brings together a wide range of expertise and sets the direction of the regional economy across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

Its membership includes:

  • Representatives of the Private Sector – Sue Berry, Sheena Horner, Trevor Jackson, Hamish McLeod
  • Social Enterprises/Third Sector/Local Communities – Crick Carleton, Keith Dickinson, Harry Harbottle, Norma Austin Hart, Peter Renwick
  • Young people representative - Chloe Dudgeon
  • Registered Social Landlords – Matt Foreman (Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Julia Mulloy (Scottish Borders Housing Association)
  • Higher and Further Education – Angela Cox (Borders College), Joanna Campbell (Dumfries and Galloway College), Nick Sparks (SRUC), Dame Barbara Kelly (Crichton Campus Leadership Group), Professor Fiona Waldron (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Skills Development Scotland – Chris Brodie
  • Scottish Enterprise – Elaine Morrison
  • VisitScotland – Rob Dickson
  • Scottish Funding Council – James Dunphy
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council – Councillors Rob Davidson, Elaine Murray, Ian Carruthers, Andrew Wood
  • Scottish Borders Council – Councillors Mark Rowley, Shona Haslam, Simon Mountford, Stuart Bell
  • South of Scotland Enterprise – Professor Russel Griggs, Duncan McConchie, Kate Rowell, Hazel Smith

Harry Harbottle, who helps represents the third sector as a member of the REP

“I am very pleased that we were able to complete the Economic Strategy with considerable regional input within such a short timescale.

“Now that it is backed up with the Delivery Plan, I am sure that it will allow many organisations to work together to transform the quality of experience for both residents and visitors in the South of Scotland.”

REP member Julia Mulloy, Chief Executive of Scottish Borders Housing Association who helps represent Registered Social Landlords

“Our Delivery Plan intends to be flexible, recognising that across the life of a ten year strategy many things can and will likely change.

“That means we will keep our Delivery Plan under regular review, to ensure it focusses on what matters most and will make the greatest difference.  

“As a partnership, we look forward to working together with as many of our local communities, businesses and people as possible and ultimately delivering our ambitious vision for the South of Scotland.”

The Delivery Plan for the RES was approved by Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders councils as well as South of Scotland Enterprise earlier this month.

Chair of the REP, and Scottish Borders Council’s Leader, Councillor Mark Rowley

“The Regional Economic Strategy’s Delivery Plan sets out how, through joined-up action, we will move the South of Scotland forward.

“We will do this by opening up and expanding on existing discussions with a wide range of national partners and organisations and challenging them on how they can respond to the agreed priorities for the South of Scotland.

“Engagement has been critical, and I believe this great piece of work reflects the wide range voices from across the South who contributed to the Strategy and Delivery Plan.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Depute Leader, Councillor Rob Davidson

"Our Regional Economic Strategy is designed to be implemented. It's a tool to deliver real positive change across the South. The Delivery Plan is vital to turning aspirations into actions and I'm delighted partners have agreed the plan."

South of Scotland Enterprise’s Chair, Professor Russel Griggs

“There is so much existing positive activity going on across the South of Scotland to attract a new generation of resident, worker, learner, visitor and investor to our region.

“The Regional Economic Strategy and accompanying Delivery Plan will aim to complement and build on this fantastic work, generating significant momentum, securing important investments and raising ambitions.”