Driving Change and Influencing Others in Action

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Whilst our immediate focus will remain aiding economic recovery, we are increasingly looking to the future and actively developing our long term strategic response to strengthening our economy and communities. In doing so we will continue to engage with people, communities, businesses and partners across and active within the South of Scotland, to establish a clear and shared set of priorities. We will step up to lead change and be proactive in influencing others to accelerate the realisation of a stronger, greener and fairer South of Scotland.

What we will focus on:

• Continuing to develop our strategic thinking, vision and priorities

• Providing leadership to develop a shared agreement about the opportunities, challenges and priorities for growing a stronger, greener and fairer South of Scotland

• Developing an appropriate, useful and accessible evidence base for the South of Scotland to inform decision making

• Becoming a net zero organisation that supports a just transition

• Taking forward Fair Work

• Using our influence to:
- Shape national and local policies for the benefit of the region
- Ensure the South of Scotland gets a fair share of investment and resources from all sources
- Raise the profile of the region and its ambitions
- Increase awareness of SOSE and our mission to drive change in the South of Scotland

What we will do:

Develop our strategic Action Plan ensuring alignment with the South of Scotland Regional Economic Strategy (RES)

• Enhance and diversify our methods of communication with businesses, communities and individuals – extending our reach across the South of Scotland

• Explore the best structures for engagement ,including the possibility of setting up a Business Panel and open data portal

• Seek strategic opportunities to shape the policies, plans and programmes of others, particularly the Scottish Government

• Respond to key consultations and policy developments, advocating for the South

• Use COP26 as a catalyst to raise awareness and accelerate the region’s journey, and our own, to a Just Transition to Net Zero

How we will enable this:

• Engage with businesses and communities to hear their views on what matters most

• Publish our Action Plan, considering consultation outcomes and national direction, to set our priorities for the next 3 years

• Agree our performance framework to measure and assess our progress

• Actively address key issues and opportunities around:- Community Wealth Building to promote fairness and wellbeing- Green job creation- Understanding the value of the region’s Natural Capital and establishing a baseline- Better understanding rural innovation

• Provide project management capacity and communications expertise to support the development and launch of the RES

• Undertake Climate and Carbon Literacy training for all Board and staff members

What we will focus on:

Working with partners to:

• Develop skills and learning opportunities for all, meeting the skills needs of employers

• Collaboratively develop a regional response to the Just Transition to Net Zero, to enable us to meet the challenge of the climate emergency

• Maximise the opportunities of our Natural Capital assets

• Understand the impact of national and regional partnerships, strategies and plans on the South of Scotland and continue to foster a coordinated Team South of Scotland approach/response

What we will do:

• Support the development and launch of the RES

• Actively contribute to the Convention of the South of Scotland (COSS) and the Regional Economic Partnership (REP), working with partner organisations to reach agreement on key issues and priorities

• Continue to work with UK and Scottish Governments and partner agencies on key investments, such as Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, EU structural fund replacements, and on a bid for the establishment of a South of Scotland Green Port.

• Support the work of the Education and Skills Strategic Group and the implementation of the South of Scotland Regional Skills Investment Plan (RSIP), including any refresh.

How we will enable this:

• Support the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the recommendations in the South of Scotland Energy Transition Group’s ‘Powering Change’ report

• Collaboratively develop and deliver a regional public awareness campaign for the Just Transition to Net Zero

• Enhance skills and career pathways to create opportunities to retain and attract young people

• Improve access to education, skills and training

• Grow and develop the region’s workforce

• Develop new and strengthened relationships with Scottish and UK Government and partner agencies