South of Scotland enterprise boost

Funding for communities and women in business.

Projects to develop rural skills, community enterprises and female-led businesses are the latest recipients of more than £1 million from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP).    

The Partnership has awarded a total of £1,045,184 to five projects, including an initiative to improve Galashiels Town Centre and attract more visitors to the area. 

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing announced the funding whilst on a visit to the Philiphaugh Estate near Selkirk, which received £154,484 to create a Golden Eagle visitor centre and extend its collaboration with local businesses to showcase local produce and attract more tourists to Selkirk.

Mr Ewing said:

“The Scottish Government, working with SOSEP, is determined to help the South of Scotland to realise its full economic potential. We’re doing that by targeted investments in projects which we believe will act as the catalysts for creating new businesses, providing vital skills, and making the region an even more attractive place to visit.

“The work of SOSEP, the establishment of a new enterprise body for the region, and the £85 million we are investing in the Borderlands inclusive Growth Deal, underline our commitment to continuing to deliver for the South of Scotland and its people.”

SOSEP Chair Professor Russel Griggs said:

“This major funding announcement is fantastic news for the South of Scotland. From wildlife to town centre regeneration, these five projects will help support and deliver long-term social and economic benefits to communities in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway by creating new businesses, providing vital skills and making the region an even more attractive place to visit.

“The economy of the south of Scotland will benefit greatly from this new impetus to stimulate growth and success.”


Full list of projects receiving funding

  • Philiphaugh Estate, Selkirk -  £154,484 towards a project that will support the estate to diversify, employ more people, improve visitor attractions and collaborate with local businesses to showcase local produce and attract more visitors to the local area. Funding will help to support the growth of other local businesses, enabling the locally run café to expand, , and the estate to collaborate with other local businesses like the Selkirk Gin Distillery, to raise their profile and sales by showcasing the best of local produce to increased numbers of visitors on site 

  • ReTweed - £19,200 over two years.  This project will allow the successful Eyemouth based social enterprise to pilot a new business incubator that will help women start and grow their own business within the creative industries sector

  • Growing Rural Skills - £289,000 over two years.  This project will build on the success of a recent dairy sector pilot in Dumfries and Galloway to expand the programme into the Scottish Borders and broaden the sectors supported to include forestry.  The programme aims to develop talent pipelines for key rural industries

  • Community Enterprise Support - £510,000 in 2019/20. The project will pilot a place-based approach to community enterprise in the south of Scotland aiming to increase the number of  financially sustainable community enterprise projects.  Initial target areas for this pilot programme which will build business and financial skills are Stranraer, Annan/ Langholm, Upper Nithsdale, Dumfries town centre, Hawick, Eyemouth & East Berwickshire, Galashiels and Jedburgh

  • Building a better Galashiels - £72,500 in 2019/20. The project aims to deliver a number of high impact town centre improvements and marketing projects in Galashiels.  The project will deliver year one of the ‘Building a Better Galashiels’ Action Plan and capitalise on the Great Tapestry’s location to attract more visitors

The South of Scotland Economic Partnership, SOSEP has been established to enable the region to benefit from a fresh approach to economic development whilst we work to establish the new enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.  Backed by £20 million Scottish Government investment across FY 2018-19 and 2019-20, the partnership brings together the key public sector agencies responsible for supporting economic growth in the south, with the private, education and community sectors.

The partnership is helping us shape the priorities of the new enterprise body and is funding a range of local projects that test and trial new approaches to supporting economic development, based on local priorities.  Including the latest batch, 19 projects are currently being supported through SOSEP on a broad range of themes.


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