South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway and Borders economic 'weaknesses' targeted

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A new strategy hopes to tackle the "long-term structural weaknesses" in the economies of Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

The action plan has been drawn up by the South of Scotland Alliance.

It hopes to learn the lessons from the "successes and shortcomings" of its efforts over the past 10 years.

Dumfries and Galloway Council and Scottish Borders Council are now being asked to give their approval for a strategy for the next seven years.

A report to the Borders authority said that despite some "notable successes" the south of Scotland economy had continued to struggle in recent times.

'Wage gap'

It said growth had not kept pace with the rest of the country and average wages had also fallen compared with national figures.

The report said that represented a wage gap of more than £65 per worker per week.

However, it said the "entrepreneurial spirit" of the area was reflected in high levels of self-employment at 12.6% compared with a Scottish average of 8%.

The new strategy has targeted innovation, better co-operation between education and business and improving digital and transport infrastructure.

If approved, it would be used as a template to try to help improve the region's economy until 2023.

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