The draft strategy sets out a vision and priorities for the region: ‘that in 2031 the South of Scotland will be green, fair and flourishing’.
The main themes are: skilled and ambitious people; innovative and enterprising; rewarding and fair work; cultural and creative excellence; green and sustainable economy; and thriving and distinct communities.
They have been shaped by analysis, evidence, and extensive engagement on behalf of the new South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership (REP).
Between February and March, themed discussions, direct interviews, surveys, and online drop-in sessions took place with nearly 1000 people contributing their thoughts.
REP chair Mark Rowley said: “We have listened carefully to people across the South about their future hopes for our region. The scale of this has been extensive, both in terms of the range of individuals, businesses and groups who have taken part, but also the detail of the information that we have gathered.”
“We want to see a South of Scotland in 2031 that is exemplified by its outstanding natural beauty and cultural heritage, diverse economy and resilient people. We want it to be an area with thriving communities, proud and confident from young to old, benefitting from the quality of life on offer and making best use of technology.”
Depute Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, and joint REP chair, Rob Davidson added: “We really want to seize the moment and grasp the opportunity a RES presents for the South of Scotland. Our focus has always been to create a strategy that endures across the long term and brings a fresh and place-based approach responsive to the South’s circumstances.
“Despite the challenges of covid, we want to continue to listen and reflect what matters to those who live, work and operate across the South so we would encourage everyone to take part in the consultation when it is launched.”
And South of Scotland Enterprise chairman Professor Russel Griggs OBE added: “We are extremely ambitious for the South and are very proud of this draft which we hope residents, businesses and communities take the time to read, think about, and endorse our vision for the South.”