The RSE has responded to the Scottish Government consultation on the creation of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.
The response highlights that the RSE has been involved in the review of Enterprise and Skills Agencies since its inception and that the RSE had initially recommended that the functions of Highlands and Islands Enterprise should be expanded to the South of Scotland.
The response welcomes and supports the proposals to create a new agency, presenting several recommendations for the creation and operation of this agency.
These recommendations include:
- The Scottish Government should look to replicate the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) model in the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, developing a community remit (in the context of the South of Scotland) and similar levels of funding which HIE receives.
- Developing a Convention of the Highlands and Islands model in the South of Scotland context to encourage collaboration with key stakeholders.
- The main activities of the agency should include the development of transport and digital connectivity, mapping and identifying business development opportunities in the area and seek to develop a tourism strategy for the area.
- There should be a flexible approach for the agency with no centralised HQ.
- The agency should consider the effect of external factors such as Brexit and climate change in its strategic planning.
The full response can be found here.