Funding for south of Scotland
Jobs-hit Annan among targets for £7.7m support deal
Fergus Ewing: ‘A clear statement of intent’ (pic: Terry Murden)
A £7.7 million investment in the south of Scotland’s economy will include a package of support for Annan, blighted by the closure of a long-established fish processing factory.
The Dumfriesshire town will receive £250,000 over two years to deliver the Annan Action Plan following the announcement that Pinneys will shutdown, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
It is one of four key enterprise projects announced by the Scottish Government today aimed at reinvigorating the local economy and stimulating growth.
The South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP) has awarded £6.6m to the region’s two colleges to create a physical and digital hub network to provide better access to training in health and social care, renewable energy, engineering and construction.
A centre of excellence for training in textiles will also be created in Hawick, and there is support for community resilience and development across seven communities.
Announcing the funding during a visit to Dumfries College, Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is a clear statement of the Scottish Government’s intent to grow and regenerate the economy in the South of Scotland.
“Earlier this year we brought together experts from the public and private sectors to create a new, dedicated partnership, in advance of the new Enterprise Agency, to drive forward that regeneration. SOSEP has now identified four projects that are sure to bring long-term social and economic benefits to the area. Of course these are major projects which will take time to be worked up and delivered.
“It’s great to see the South of Scotland Economic Partnership injecting fresh impetus into the area’s economy. I’m certain that, with the dedicated focus and expertise provided by SOSEP, backed up by significant levels of Scottish Government funding, we will see a tangible strengthening of the economic environment in one of Scotland’s most important regions.”
Representing SOSEP, Professor Russel Griggs said: “This funding announcement is exciting news and confirms our ambition and commitment to make the south the thriving economy we know it can be.
“There is a huge amount of work underway in the Partnership to support and develop projects which will deliver long-term social and economic benefits. We will make further funding announcements shortly.
“Our recent engagement exercise with 26 events and over 500 people attending gave a valuable insight into what we require to do. Better opportunities for training and supporting communities were key priorities; the announcement of funding today demonstrates our commitment to address these priorities immediately.”
The Scottish Government confirmed its long term commitment to the South of Scotland in its 2018/19 budget when £10 million in additional resources was allocated to support the work of SOSEP and inclusive growth in the South of Scotland.
The South of Scotland Economic Partnership provides a new focus to drive success across the region creating a thriving environment for both existing and new businesses and communities and promoting inclusive growth.
SOSEP was established in 2017 to help address the economic needs and opportunities in the south of Scotland, ensuring that the area benefits in advance of the new statutory Enterprise Agency being formed for April 2020.