Response 240695879

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What we want for the South of Scotland

1. Do you agree with our ambition outlined?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
Don't know

2. What would you like to see for the South of Scotland?

What would you like to see for the South of Scotland?
A greater appreciation by Government of the great value, in both economic and wider terms, of the landscapes and cultural heritage of SoS.

Far greater and better marketing of the extensive tourism assets of the area.

National Park designation for suitable areas.

Outstanding schools, students, teachers and families with high aspirations (much greater than at present).

A wide range of skills training designed for a far flung population - please no more apprenticeships for hairdressers and beauticians, we have more than enough of them. We need hands on technical skills training for technical staff of all ages in, e.g., precision engineering businesses . We need proper training opportunities for upmarket, mid market and specialist tourism businesses.

Please do not try to reinvent the skills training wheel - there is a huge amount of expertise and ready made programmes out there. A combination of hands on short courses with remote backup should be aimed for. Employers will pay for well designed courses which actually fit their needs.

Ambitions for the new South of Scotland Enterprise

3. What are your ambitions for the future economic success of the South of Scotland?

What are your ambitions for the future economic success of
Strong protection of its assets, e.g. National Park designation of suitable areas, encouragement to refurbish and maintain the architectural heritage, etc.

First rate marketing to diverse audiences of the several rather different areas of SoS as places to visit, live and do business.

Better use of the talents and experience of the people who live here, not just public employees, to achieve better socioeconomic outcomes.

Quadrupling of tourism revenues.

Substantial increase in numbers coming here to live and work in skilled, well paid jobs, many of them self employed or running SMEs.

Demand for conversion of ruinous cottages and old stone farm buildings to modern uses.

A diversified farming community, protecting the environment, producing upmarket, branded local foods and cooperating to market them.

Well informed support to startup and young businesses in all industries.

Potholes filled and infrastructure maintained efficiently - current deployment of public resources is very inefficient.



The economic context of the South of Scotland

4. What are the strengths you would like to see the Agency build on?

What are the strengths you would like to see the Agency
You have listed them above. One of the weaker links is the training system which is not geared to the needs of a low density population with poor public transport links. It mainly suffers from top down, central belt focussed thinking lacking input from local customers.

There is no shortage around the world of models for flexible programmes which could be applied here.

5. What are the economic challenges you would like to see the Agency address?

What are the economic challenges you would like to see the
Lack of proper evaluation of the economic return to the area from alternative activities/investments.

Lack of reciprocal access to training and skills opportunities on both sides of the Border.

Lack of availability of information about training and skills opportunities for all ages and stages - lifelong learning should be a central objective.

The planning system - too expensive and complex for SMEs to deal with. At the very least provide advice and support so that applications are well designed first time around.

Unsatisfactory schools.

Poor infrastructure.

LACK OFIMAGINATION and little awareness of what is possible .

Failure to adequately understand the conflicts of interest between different economic players.

Potential Activities for the South of Scotland Enterprise

6. What currently works well in the South of Scotland?

What currently works well in the South of Scotland?
Community activities and networks work well. Lots of clubs, associations etc for leisure, arts, crafts and general social activities.

Good advertising within local areas of activities, places to visit, things to do.

A substantial number of excellent leisure facilities for locals and visitors.

7. What would you add or take away from the potential activities that the Agency could carry out across the three areas:

a) drive forward the economy?
Better valuation and access to information about of assets of all types with economic potential

Better infrastructure

Better protection of assets.
b) sustain communities?
Communities will do well if their underpinning economies are stable and/or growing.
c) capitalise on people and resources?
Better education/training opportunities at all levels, made accessible.

8. What would you prioritise as the key areas of activity for the Agency?

What would you prioritise as the key areas of activity for the
Evaluation of economic assets

Ideas for effective marketing of the SoS (not necessarily as a single area) as a place to visit, live and work.

Improvement of education/skills training at all levels.

Effective dissemination of relevant information to economic parties within and beyond SoS.

9. What specific things could the Agency do to help you, your business, your sector or your community?

What specific things could the Agency do to help you, your
Skills training opportunities.

Protection of the landscape and cultural heritage.

Effective boundaries

10. What could the Agency do outwith its boundaries working with other local authorities or with agencies like Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support specific projects which benefit the South of Scotland and with national agencies?

What could the Agency do outwith its boundaries working
Work with Borderlands, HE and FE and the other agencies already identified including UK national bodies.

Location of the new Agency

11. Which option, either from the list above or your own suggestion, do you think offers the best way to ensure the Agency is accessible to all across the South of Scotland?

Which option, either from the list above or your own
Run it out of the two Council HQs with main meetings there, but mobile advisory/support staff

12. Which criteria should be used in reaching a decision about the location of the Agency?

Which criteria should be used in reaching a decision about
Understanding by people and businesses of where to go for help/advice
Effectiveness in achieving better economic outcomes
Cost effectiveness

13. If you were to use the services of this Agency, what factors are important to you in terms of reaching it?

you were to use the services of this Agency, what factors are important to you in terms of reaching it?
No more than 1 hour drive.
Parking available
Good telephone and email communication

14. What sort of people should be on the Board of the Agency and what sorts of skills and expertise should they have?

What sort of people should be on the Board of the Agency
All successful, with a range of skills, at least 50 per cent private sector, reasonable gender mix, some international expertise, total enthusiasm and commitment to the objectives of the agency,

Other issues

15. We know that young people are less likely to stay in or move to the South of Scotland than they are other parts of the country. Do you have any comments on things the Agency could do to meet the interests of children and young people?

We know that young people are less likely to stay in or move
Improve its image as a place to live and work, through good marketing

19. Do you have any other thoughts on powers that the Agency will need?

Do you have any other thoughts on powers that the Agency
Magical powers

20. Is there anything else you wish to say about the operation of the Agency?

Is there anything else you wish to say about the operation of
Sounds like it is trying to be all things to all persons - perhaps better to limit the initial projects and get the show running well on the road, before trying to Spread itself too thin.

About you

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