Response 300328193

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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?
Greater connectivity, ensuring that better broadband, mobile signal and continuation and development of the Borders Railway is given priority. Better connectivity promotes innovation and modern practice.

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
A diverse, modern local economy which benefits all and not just the few. The Scottish Borders appears to have a tradition of low-pay, so having good quality jobs for people is essential for improving the outcomes of the people who live here.

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
Maximising the resource of young people in the Borders, once they leave school, to keep them in the area.

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
Inequality in parts of the Borders is a concern. Better outcomes for school-leavers.

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?
There seems to be small pockets of thriving businesses in key towns, such as Kelso and Melrose.

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?
Reduce the traditional reliance on sporting pursuits, which promotes wealth creation in an unequal manner. Review unrealistic subsidies to farmers and encourage smaller-scale agriculture. Promote farming activities that do not involve animal agriculture, a major contributor to greenhouse gasses.
b) sustain communities?
Support the Third Sector more, which creates much employment in the area. This could be done by promoting social enterprise.

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
1. Invest in school-leavers, as part of the workforce , hence keeping them in the area 2. Provide direct support to new small businesses 3. Support the Third Sector as a major contributor to employment and social cohesion

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
Find new, creative business solutions for the High Street, which continues to suffer, in line with the retail sector across Scotland.

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
The Agency should be promoting the Borders and D&G as an attractive place to do business. I feel that this could be done more effectively as the area seems quite detached.

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
Co-location is attractive, due to the potential for networking, but delivering this could be difficult. A hub and spoke model may also work. Digital uptake is slower in the Borders than most places in Scotland, so although it is attractive, it may not be the most practical.

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
Connectivity, for example, a central location in the South. In addition, the new Borders Rail Service is attractive, so Galashiels or Tweedbank may be an option.

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?
Accessible, friendly, inspiring and encouraging. I think that the latter is often very challenging for Govt. organisations. They are often seen as part of 'The System'. Easily-accessible, jargon-free digital services are also attractive.

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
People with SME experience. People with Third Sector experience and importantly, people with experience in developing markets such as renewable energy.

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
Get into schools and inspire young people about the magic of innovation, business and commerce. Develop a bank of 'Champions'. Young people who have succeeded in the Borders and link them with future business people. Encourage international links. For example, twinning schools with other learning centres overseas, via tools like Skype and video-conferencing.

16. In delivering opportunity and growth in the South of Scotland, how can the Agency:

In delivering opportunity and growth in the South of Scotland, how can the Agency:
Target disadvantaged groups from the start and make sure that the message and the offer is accessible to them. Use appropriate language, symbols and images which represent the community at large and not just white, middle-class people.

17. Do you have any other comments on how the Agency might address specific needs?

Do you have any other comments on how the Agency might
Target specifically people with disabilities, using the established Third Sector networks, to ensure that hard-to-reach people know what's on offer.

18. We want to make sure that the Agency works effectively with a wide range of key stakeholders/partner agencies to ensure that inclusive growth also enables positive social and environmental outcomes. Do you have any comments on how this should work in practice?

We want to make sure that the Agency works effectively with a
Perhaps using other platforms to get your message over? Local events, Job Fairs etc?

About you

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Individual
Organisation

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Streets Ahead (Borders)