The South of Scotland has waited a long time for its own Economic and Community Development Agency - that wait is now over. On 1 April 2020, we went live as the South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) - an agency which is bold, ambitious and here for the long term to deliver in the South, for the South and with the South.
We are now looking for our first permanent Chief Executive to take us forward on this incredible journey - to inspire our region to think bigger so we can collectively unlock the great potential of our people and our resources make things happen in the South. It’s a big ask but also an exciting opportunity.
It is exciting because the time is now for the South of Scotland.
We are here to do things differently. We will take risks to put our fabulous region on the map and showcase the South of Scotland to the world and make the South of Scotland an even greater place to live, work, visit, learn and invest in.
Over the last two years as we worked to create SOSE, we listened. We listened to what our people, businesses and communities across the South wanted in their new Economic Development Agency. Going forward, we will continue to listen and take people with us on this incredible journey as we set out to achieve our vision which is to establish our region as a centre of opportunity, innovation and growth.
Covid-19 has obviously had a significant impact on our journey so far. Lockdown started just before we officially came into being, but we tackled the issues head on and prioritised our efforts to contribute to the Covid-19 response as well as look to the future.
We have the chance to take this opportunity with both hands. Collectively our region will flourish, and the future will be brighter than it ever has been. We are here to stay. We are here IN the South, FOR the South and WITH the South.
So who are we?
South of Scotland Enterprise (also known as SOSE) launched officially on 1 April 2020 as the new Economic and Community Development Agency for Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders. SOSE was established by the Scottish Government in recognition of the unique circumstances of the South of Scotland, and the need for a fresh approach to drive inclusive growth across the area. The South of Scotland Enterprise Act 2019 was passed by Scottish Parliament in June 2019 and provides our legal framework.
We stretch from Eyemouth in the East to Stranraer in the West, we cover over 1000 km of coastline. We stretch the entire 250km width of Scotland and run from the borderlands with England to within a few miles of Edinburgh and Glasgow. We have over 260,000 people living in the South of Scotland- that’s around 5% of the Scottish population and we have over 11000 businesses across sectors including manufacturing, digital, renewable energy, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, forestry and a wealth of others.
How are we different?
We don’t just say we are different – we ARE different. We are the first of Scotland’s public agencies whose legislation promotes a wider view on the economy and how it impacts all we do. Jobs are important to us but so are communities and the environment. We want to make sure that everyone, no matter who and where they are, has an opportunity to fulfil their ambitions.
We are also one of the first to have ‘Fair work’ running through all of our activities. How we treat people matters to us and we want to ensure that this runs through our region too. We are here and able to listen first-hand to what businesses, communities, and individuals need and then respond.
Our values are reflected in all that we do
Our core values are really important to us. They are embedded in all that we do and our staff are fully committed to them and excited by them. We will:
What are we looking for in our Chief Executive?
We expect our Chief Executive to demonstrate and epitomise our values in their behaviour and leadership. The successful candidate will be key in honing SOSE’s structure and ways of working to ensure that we are able to deliver what is expected of us.
Our Chief Executive will be responsible for continuing to build the capacity and capability of the new organisation and, alongside the already established senior leadership team, will keep developing the culture, capability and capacity of the organisation to deliver our vision and mission.
Our Chief Executive will deliver active and dynamic leadership for SOSE working with me and, of course, the Board and the wider organisation. The new Chief Executive will also act as an ambassador for SOSE, building positive relationships of influence amongst the business community, politicians and wider stakeholder groups.
SOSE plays a key role in delivering a strong and effective Enterprise and Skills system that will ensure we have a sustainable and attractive economy across the region. The Chief Executive must be pivotal in that role.
Are you ready to join us?
I am very excited by the opportunity to work with a permanent Chief Executive and hopefully the opportunity will excite you. The successful candidate will live in or near one of the most beautiful parts of the world and be part of one of Scotland’s great adventures.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about South of Scotland Enterprise and considering being a candidate for the role of Chief Executive.
We look forward to receiving your application.