South of Scotland Economic Partnership


The South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP) operated from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2020.

SOSEP’s activities were shaped around local priorities, defined in consultation with businesses and communities from across the region. Priority themes included infrastructure, education and skills, communities, tourism, business support and key sectors like agriculture, forestry and creative industries. Scottish Government committed £13.3 million in 2019/20, and £10 million in 2018/19 and funded a total of 58 projects, to support the work of SOSEP and the delivery of South of Scotland Enterprise.


Phase 2 of the Enterprise and Skills Review confirmed ministers would establish a new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency to address the economic challenges of the area, driving inclusive growth. The Programme for Government confirmed legislation would be introduced into Parliament later in 2018 which, assuming Parliamentary support, ensures that the new statutory body will begin its formal legislative operation from 1 April 2020.

The initial, high level aims for the new Agency are:

  • to drive the economy forward with growth that creates opportunities for all, where the benefits of increased prosperity are shared
  • to sustain and grow communities so that people thrive in the places where they live and work
  • to capitalise on people and resources of the South, developing the skills and making the most of assets to address exclusion and assist growth

Role of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership

The South of Scotland Economic Partnership has been established to respond to the economic needs and opportunities of the South of Scotland in advance of the establishment of the new Agency. The Partnership will lay the foundations for the Agency and will ensure that the area benefits from a new approach to economic development as soon as possible with a clearly prioritised work plan.

The Partnership is chaired by Professor Russel Griggs OBE, with its day to day activity coordinated by Rob Dickson. The Partnership brings together the private, third and further and higher education sectors, as well as the seven key public sector organisations supporting economic development in the South of Scotland.

Partnership Activity

The Partnership will:

  • develop and deliver a clear and prioritised work programme, aligning existing activity, driving progress and piloting new approaches to benefit the South
  • influence the design of the new agency – offering views on options for its structure and functions, assessing what has worked and engaging with stakeholders to ensure its responsive to and informed by the needs of the area
  • deliver a strong programme of engagement with stakeholders across the South of Scotland, including the private sector to ensure that they influence the work programme and can inform the proposals for the new agency

In the Scottish Government's 2018-19 budget, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution set out £10 million to drive forward inclusive growth and support communities across the South of Scotland. These resources, additional to those already used by partners in the South of Scotland, will support the work of the Partnership.


  • Professor Russel Griggs, OBE - Chair of Partnership
  • Tom Barrie - Currie Solutions
  • Alistair Cameron - Scotmas Ltd
  • John Fordyce - Three Stills Company Limited
  • Paula Ogilvie - Borders Book Festival and Bright Spark Partners
  • Tracey Roan - Roan's Dairy
  • Neale McQuistin, Airyolland Farms and Kilgallioch Community Benefit Company
  • David Sulman - UK Forest Products and Scottish Timber Trade Association
  • Lorna Young - Indigo Words
  • Amanda Burgauer - Scottish Rural Action
  • Helen Forsyth - Berwickshire Housing Association
  • Dame Barbara Kelly DBE - Crichton Leadership Group
  • Tony Jakimciw - Borders College
  • Chris Brodie - Lead Head Skills Planning, Skills Development Scotland
  • Douglas Cowan - Director, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Michael Cross - Director, Scottish Funding Council
  • Tracey Logan - Chief Executive, Scottish Borders Council
  • Malcolm Roughead OBE - Chief Executive, VisitScotland
  • Iain Scott, Chief Financial Officer - Scottish Enterprise
  • Gavin Stevenson - Chief Executive, Dumfries and Galloway Council