A Holyrood Committee is seeking views on the establishment of a new enterprise agency dedicated to the south of Scotland.
The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has launched a call for views on the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill, which will create an enterprise agency to encourage economic development in the Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders council areas.
This new agency would co-exist with Scotland's two other enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Convener of the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Edward Mountain MSP, said:
"Our Committee is seeking views on a new, dedicated enterprise agency for the south of Scotland. In particular, we would like to hear from businesses and from people living and working in the area.
"The Bill sets out the detail for how the new agency will be set up to support businesses and promote growth in the economy, enterprise and skills across the region. We want to hear people's views on whether they agree with what is proposed. What should this agency look like, what should its duties be and how can it encourage economic development, productivity and sustainability in the region?"
The questions that will form part of the inquiry are:
- Do you agree that a south of Scotland enterprise agency should be created?
- Do you agree with the proposals for the body's constitution, purposes, powers and duties? If you do not agree with the proposals, please set out specifically what you would like to change.
- Is there anything else that should be included or excluded from the Bill?
As part of this call for views, the Committee will hold a number of events, including a formal committee meeting in the south of Scotland and other engagement activities with local businesses, community representatives and young people in order to find out how the proposed enterprise agency could impact on future economic development.
The establishment of an enterprise body for the south of Scotland was announced in October 2016 as part of the Scottish Government's enterprise and skills review.
The South of Scotland Enterprise Agency Bill will set up a new body called 'South of Scotland Enterprise'. It is a short Bill which focuses on the detail of how the agency should be organised and outlines its purposes, powers and duties.
There are two ways to share your views. If you want to give a quick response we encourage you to fill out our online survey.
If you would like to submit detailed comments on the Bill, please send a written submission to: SSEABill.RECCommittee@parliament.scot.
The call for written views will close on Monday 7 January 2019.