SBC statement on South of Scotland Economic Partnership funding for local projects

South of Scotland Economic Partnership, SoSEP

Published: Thursday, 19th July 2018

Four key enterprise projects that will reinvigorate the south of Scotland’s economy and stimulate inclusive growth have been awarded funding by the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

The £7.68million funding has been supported by the Scottish Government.

Full details of the funding announcement can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

Successful projects

Project Applicant Project aims Funding amount

Centre of Excellence in Textiles

Scottish Borders Council

This project seeks to address a business critical skills issue in the textiles sector by the provision of a training centre to deliver skills training to local textile companies. 

£610,000 (over two years)

South of Scotland Skills & Learning Network

Borders College and Dumfries and Galloway College

Hub and spoke model to provide new facilities across the South of Scotland that will facilitate digital learning in rural locations.  Initial focus on training in care, renewable energy  and engineering and construction.

Involves construction of physical and digital centres and hub and spoke infrastructure. 

Borders and Dumfries & Galloway Colleges will provide the long term support, certification and technological know-how needed to develop and maintain the network.

£6,601,919 (over two years)

Strengthening Communities Programme

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Match funding for seven sustainable communities projects in Peebles, Newlands, Tweedsmuir, Stranraer, Eskadale, Kirkcudbright and Kirckonnel & Kelloholm.

Funding will primarily support project officer posts to assist with the delivery of asset based income generating activity for each community.  Officers will support communities to identify their needs/opportunities, agree actions, and project plan to deliver.

£220,710 (over two years)

Annan Regeneration

Dumfries and Galloway Council

To support the cost of a team to drive forward the Annan Action Plan developing projects to mitigate the impact of job losses in the town following Young’s closure of its Pinney’s seafood processing plants. 

Team will be set up to cover business advice, planning, property, capital projects and community development. 

£250,000 (over two years)

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development

“The Partnership was only formed earlier this year, so the speed with which this significant funding announcement has come about bodes extremely well for the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency in the longer term.

“This is an exciting announcement that will support projects across the south of Scotland and the Borders and I’m delighted that Scottish Borders Council has been working with our South of Scotland Economic Partnership colleagues to deliver these initiatives quickly.

“The Borders textiles and knitwear industries are exceptional, often with world-renowned reputations. Creating a dedicated centre of excellence, in the iconic setting of Hawick, demonstrates a commitment to provide industry-specific training to enable our outstanding textile firms to link with skilled young people to take up the opportunities that are available. This is a  great way to support the sector and builds on the international reputation of the Scottish Borders for textiles, exemplified by the reputation of the great brands and institutions like Heriot Watt University.

“Access to learning is a critical issue across the Scottish Borders, so starting to deliver the real opportunity for young people to study and learn locally, particularly in skills that are needed here, either in growing business sectors or hard to recruit areas, is absolutely vital to the future of the south of Scotland. This is a great first step in getting real access to learning out to our dispersed communities.

“The initiative to trial funding for community development support in Peebles, Newlands and Tweedsmuir will be welcomed by many communities. Too often communities have great vision, drive and enthusiasm but often lack the practical support to deliver their dreams. This model could see community-supported schemes become much more practical to deliver across the Borders and see much closer engagement between communities, founders, private sector and public agencies. This is us giving communities the resources to deliver for themselves.”