Committee to consider proposed statistical boundary change

Published: Thursday, 26th November 2015

On 1 December, our Executive Committee will consider Scottish Government proposals to create a new Southern Scotland statistical area.

New statistical area proposed

The new statistical area could be used in relation to European regional policy development and funding allocations. As part of the South of Scotland Alliance, we have been campaigning for the south of Scotland to be recognised as a NUTS2 (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics) region in its own right for some time, and the latest proposal aligns with the Alliance’s own proposal.

It is proposed that a Southern Scotland second-level NUTS area is formed comprising of the local authority areas of the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, and also including the North Ayrshire mainland.

Funding issues with current statistical area

Currently the Scottish Borders is part of the Eastern Scotland NUTS2 area which includes Edinburgh and Dundee. This presents issues in the allocation of European structural funding as the Borders’ economic figures are masked by cities and funding received does not necessarily reflect the challenges faced in the Scottish Borders.

Research by the South of Scotland Alliance has demonstrated that there are similarities in the economies, demographics and rurality of the proposed new Southern Scotland area.

Councillor Stuart Bell, Executive Member for Economic Development and Chair of the South of Scotland Alliance

“The Alliance has made a strong case to the Scottish Government and we are pleased to see that it has been included in the review.

“We believe that these changes could bring real benefits to our local economy and could open up new European funding opportunities which previously have not been available to us. At the same time the change would have no detrimental impact on any other area.

“NUTS areas are boundaries on a map and are used for statistical reporting and we would still continue to play a proactive role in working with Edinburgh, the Lothians and beyond if this proposed change is implemented.”

More information

The South of Scotland Alliance’s membership comprises Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Enterprise and ourselves.

Further information is available in the report to our Executive Committee.