A new enterprise agency is to be created to "meet the economic needs of communities" in the south of Scotland.
The move is part of the final report from the Scottish government's enterprise and skills review. The aim of the review is to ensure that businesses, workforce, training providers, colleges and universities and young people all receive the joined-up support they need.
The report was launched by the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown, while meeting with Kite Power Systems in Dumfries and Galloway – a company that has secured £7million of equity funding to generate renewable power using kites.
A south of Scotland enterprise agency was a key manifesto commitment of Finlay Carson and the Scottish Conservatives in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.
Commenting, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP, Finlay Carson said:
“I have long campaigned for a south of Scotland Enterprise Agency, and very much welcome today’s announcement.
“In fact, unlike the SNP, an Enterprise Agency for the South of Scotland was a key manifesto commitment of mine and my party in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. I am delighted that the Scottish Government have taken on board representations from my colleagues and I in establishing this agency today.
“What is really important, and the case I have been making all along, is that this must be a well-resourced, robust and autonomous agency.
“Only with a fully autonomous board, like that of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will my constituents of Galloway and West Dumfries fully benefit from the opportunities such an organisation will present.”