FUNDING worth £2.1m will be distributed to 28 projects in southern Scotland, it has been revealed.
Team South of Scotland (Team SOS) has welcomed the news from the Scottish government.
The grants will be channelled through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP).
The announcement comes as Team SOS, comprising South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council and other partners continue to work together to support the recovery from COVID-19 and look to the economy’s future prosperity.
Professor Russel Griggs, South of Scotland Enterprise chairman, said: “This milestone investment comes at a vital time to support our communities and businesses as they look to the future and move through the phases of the route map loosening lockdown restrictions.
“SOSEP, our predecessor, worked extensively with a range of people and organisations to support their journey from application to approval.
“We have supported a diverse range of projects, each a response to the particular circumstances and opportunities of the South of Scotland, each ambitious for the future.
“This announcement confirms our commitment to continue to work with communities and businesses to support them in their aspirations.”
Projects include: Crichton Central (£833,127) to redevelop an existing building (Criffel View) on the Crichton Campus in Dumfries to create a business incubation venue, the first of its kind in Dumfries, for small and micro-businesses; Eardley Transport Hub (£200,000) to create a modern transport and logistics hub in Ecclefechan;
Livestock Holding Facilities (£59,600) to establish a livestock holding centre to allow farmers to house their beasts before transportation and processing. This will encourage co-operation to reduce costs;
Town of 1000 Trails (£28,916) to develop an interactive digital hub to promote Hawick and the surrounding area as the go-to destination for walking, cycling, running and horse riding;
Feasibility Study – Alternative Land Use (£20,000) to analyse whether it is possible to grow alternative crops, including energy, pharmaceutical, forestry and industrial as well as field-scale vegetables and salad crops in the south, which is currently dominated by traditional farming and forestry;
Feasibility Study – Equestrian Tourism (£10,000) to investigate how to replicate the Ride Scottish Borders project in Dumfries and Galloway and form a riding route around some well-known Big Houses of the Borders.
Councillor Rob Davidson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s depute leader, said: “The work of SOSEP to pave the way for SOSE certainly brings with it benefits, including this funding for projects to help us prosper in the future.”
Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for business and economic development, added: “I welcome the strong focus on developing our tourism offering and exploring initiatives through the targeted feasibility studies which this funding will provide.”