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South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed news that a Senior Director at Scottish Enterprise has been put in charge of looking after the south of Scotland.


Jane Martin, Managing Director of Customer Operations has been tasked with raising the ambition of the agency in the area, following accusations that SE was failing Dumfries and Galloway, with figures showing that the area had the lowest
percentage of growth export companies across the whole of Scotland.


Ms Martin was giving evidence at last week’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and was questioned by SNP MSP Joan McAlpine about her plans.


Ms Martin said:


“There are a number of specific actions underway to help businesses in the south of Scotland. Scottish Enterprise worked with D&G council on export week to raise awareness and we have done work around continuous professional development
with business gateway staff in the area to ensure staff members engaging with businesses are aware of the opportunities available.”


Ms Martin also indicated that SE will be more flexible in their approach to taking on account managed companies in the region, acknowledging the unique barriers faced by rural businesses.


She added:


“We have agreed to look at adjusting the turnover threshold for account managed companies in the south of Scotland. We want to assess companies on the basis of potential and opportunity for growth.


Ms McAlpine has previously met with Scottish Enterprise bosses on two occasions to discuss what more could be done to boost the local economy.


Welcoming Ms Martin’s comments, the south of Scotland MSP said:


“I am really pleased that Scottish Enterprise have taken my comments seriously and acted on them so swiftly.

“I am heartened that bosses have recognised the strengths of the region and also the need to be flexible with our rural economy.

“I look forward to working with them, the local authority and the business community to take this forward.”




A recording of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee’s evidence session with SE can be viewed here: