A South of Scotland Economic Partnership will be in place by end of year, the Scottish Government said.
The South of Scotland Economic Partnership will involve public and private sector partners and will prepare the ground for the establishment of a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency (SOSEA).
Economy Secretary Keith Brown confirmed an interim partnership, bringing together organisations to support economic growth in the South of Scotland, will be in place by the end of 2017.
Preparations for the legislation to establish a SOSEA was confirmed in last week’s Programme for Government.
The new agency will focus on strategic economic development, providing a voice for the South of Scotland and addressing challenges facing the area’s economy.
Speaking after a meeting of the South of Scotland Alliance at the Scottish Parliament, the Economy Secretary confirmed the timeline for establishing the interim partnership.
Brown said: “I recognise the need for a new approach in the south of Scotland, which addresses the key challenges facing the area and ensure that a strategic vision underpins economic activity in the region.
“I am pleased to announce that by the end of this year we’ll have an interim partnership in place to lay the foundations for the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, ensuring the south of Scotland will see benefits soon as possible.
“SOSEA will be crucial in transforming the economy of the region, working with local partners to create a clear vision, sustaining and growing communities as well as promoting fair work and inclusive growth.
“This once in a lifetime opportunity can deliver transformational growth for the area, shaping and powering the South of Scotland economy for many years to come.”