Covid in Scotland: Convention studies economic recovery options

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Easterbrook Hall

image captionThe first convention was held at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries earlier this year

Economic recovery options from the coronavirus crisis have been examined in southern Scotland.

Key bodies from the region were taking part in an online discussion, chaired by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The first Convention of the South of Scotland was held at Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries earlier this year.

However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the second summit was staged virtually and looked at how to assist economic growth.

Mr Swinney said the new body South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) had a “vital role” to play in any economic recovery.

He said there was “no denying” that the Covid-19 pandemic had significantly impacted many people across Scotland – including in rural areas.

image copyrightPA Media

image captionDeputy First Minister John Swinney will chair the online convention

He said the convention provided a “valuable opportunity” to set out how the organisations could work to rebuild with a “focus on creating and protecting jobs”.

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam said it allowed those involved to come up with a plan to “maximise the opportunities” to help regenerate the area.

Rob Davidson, deputy leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, said that in “unprecedented circumstances” it was vital that they all worked together.

“Right now, more than ever before, we need this vital forum for the exchange of ideas on priorities and how to tackle key regional issues in the south of Scotland,” added Prof Russel Griggs, who chairs SOSE.

He said the forum members must show an “unshakeable focus” on boosting the economy in the area over the coming months.

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