£2.1 million for South of Scotland projects.
Tourism, business, community and agricultural projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders have been awarded more than £2.1 million to support economic development across the region.
In total, 28 projects will benefit from Scottish Government funding through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP), supporting the region’s economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and helping to generate future job opportunities.
Among the projects to receive funding are:
a programme to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott’s birth, stimulating tourism across the area
a programme to help young people with autistic spectrum disorder build their skills and find job opportunities
a project to develop livestock holding facilities enabling farmers to collaborate to reduce transportation costs
a new business incubator to support small and micro businesses
Minister for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon (pictured) said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to developing the South of Scotland’s economy to its full potential.
“Now more than ever it is vital that we support people and businesses as we recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, restart our economy and continue to invest in the future of our local communities.
“These investments will create jobs, support businesses, develop skills, boost tourism and contribute to town centre regeneration.
“Many of the projects will help key industries in the region which have been hit hard by the pandemic as they work to recover and grow.
“Others will develop local supply chains, skills and employment opportunities to help drive local and regional economies forward.
“As we safely move out of lockdown it is vital that we work together and look to the future to restore and renew our economy.
“The projects announced today take a helpful step in that direction.”
Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) Professor Russel Griggs OBE said:
“This milestone investment comes at a vital time to support our communities and businesses as they look to the future, as we move through the phases of the Route Map loosening lockdown restrictions.
“Our predecessor SOSEP worked extensively with a wide range of people and organisations to support their journey from application to approval.
“We have been able to support a diverse range of projects, each a response to the particular circumstances and opportunities of the South of Scotland, each ambitious for the future.
“Today’s announcement confirms our commitment to continue to work with communities and businesses across the South of Scotland to support them in their aspirations.
“As we recover from the impacts of COVID-19, ensuring we remain a region of opportunity.”
Chief Executive of the Abbotsford Trust Giles Ingram said:
“We are delighted to receive this grant which will support us to develop our 250th anniversary programme to celebrate the birth of Sir Walter Scott in 2021, as well as developing our community engagement programme so that people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can join in the celebrations.
“As with most tourism businesses, the global pandemic has provided us with real challenges, but we are delighted to have begun a phased reopening of Abbotsford in accordance with all Government advice and guidelines.
“Our project aims to capitalise on an anniversary which is already attracting international interest to attract more visitors to the south of Scotland, and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to planned events, but only when it is safe to do so.”
Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust Gwilym Gibbons said:
“Crichton Central was always in our plans for 2020, but it has become increasingly important to the South of Scotland as we transition into our new coronavirus world.
“On behalf of The Crichton Trust, I would like to thank the Scottish Government and SOSE for acknowledging the potential of Crichton Central and for their substantial financial contribution to help make this development possible.”