Secondary legislation that will delay the setting up of the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency has been laid before the Scottish Parliament.

The regulation will amend the South of Scotland Enterprise Act 2019 (Commencement and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2019 by postponing the date of commencement of the new Agency from 1 April 2020, as set out in the Act of Parliament, to 1 June 2020. The change does not require debate in the Parliament.

Commenting on the move South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Rural Economy Spokesperson Colin Smyth said: “At this time the priority of everyone involved in economic support needs to be focused on supporting businesses and workers through the tough times we face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, rather than the various legal work still needed to set up the new agency.

“For that reason, this is the right move but I am sure the new Board and those staff being appointed to posts will be continuing discussions over what support the Agency will provide in the months ahead to help businesses and other enterprises rebuild.

“In the meantime, the existing Agencies such as the council and Scottish Enterprise need to continue to support businesses and both the UK and Scottish Government need to ensure the help they have promised is delivered as a matter of urgently as many businesses are already struggling.”

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