June 28, 2017
Now we have three.
One of the longest running anomalies in Scotland’s public sector is the question of why we have two very different economic development agencies to serve one relatively small country. Scottish Enterprise with its ‘business growth and nothing else’ agenda and HIE with a clear remit to integrate ‘community and culture’ within economic development. Now Scottish Government has announced that South of Scotland, previously under the remit of Scottish Enterprise, is to have its own agency – one which sounds very akin to HIE. Which has to be good news. But now we have three.
A new enterprise agency will be created to meet the economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.
The final report from the Enterprise and Skills Review contains a wide range of measures to support business, ensure young people have access to the right skills, and create growth across the Scottish economy.
They include improved access to innovation, enterprise and international support and streamlined skills provision.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown launched the report while meeting with Kite Power Systems – a company that has secured £7m of equity funding for its innovative approach to harnessing wind energy.
He said: “This report shows how we can transform the performance of our economy and enable more businesses to deliver strong, vibrant and inclusive growth at scale.
“From better co-ordination of our international activity to ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to succeed, this review has delivered a package of reforms that will drive change across the country.
“We have recognised the importance of providing dedicated support to the South of Scotland in the same way we currently do for the Highlands and Islands. A new agency will be established to meet the distinctive economic needs of communities in the South of Scotland.
“We are putting a greater urgency behind our innovation action plan and joining up the efforts of our skills agencies to help learners and businesses get the training they need. Businesses will benefit from streamlined innovation support through a new digital access point, building on the recent success that has seen Scotland move into the top group of EU nations as regards innovation performance.
“The fundamentals of Scotland’s economy are strong and – as this report confirms – we are doing all that we can to build upon these further.”