Scottish Borders Council has welcomed funding support from the Scottish Government through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership for the recruitment of Community Enterprise Managers in priority regeneration towns of Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh and Galashiels.
The pilot project, which has been developed alongside Dumfries and Galloway Council and is based on a successful Highlands and Islands Enterprise programme, has been awarded £510,000.
It will see specialist advisors work with the local communities to support new and developing projects which will have a positive local economic impact in towns and locations across the South of Scotland. It aims to encourage an ambitious, enterprising approach towards supporting enterprising community and business activity and potentially developing new financially sustainable projects.
The project is a pilot for 12 months with lessons learned planned to be fed back to the development of community support within the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to support communities to deliver new services and projects which will ultimately generate greater economic impacts within their towns. This is over and above the Council’s own regeneration funding and support and will help those very active local business and community groups in Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh and Galashiels to take forward more projects and ideas to improve their towns. In the Highlands and Islands this type of support has proved invaluable, and this is a chance to test if this type of approach can be adapted to suit some of the unique challenges we face in the south of Scotland.”
The Council will work with host organisations in each of the four towns in the Scottish Borders to recruit appropriate staff and deliver the project. The aim is for the Community Enterprise Managers to be in place by late autumn.