South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive of the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency (SOSE).

Jane Morrison-Ross has been appointed to the role by the Scottish Government. Jane is currently CEO of ScotlandIS, the industry body and cluster management organisation for the digital and technology industries in Scotland. In this role Jane has supported the technology industry in Scotland in all its specialisms from Space and Climate Tech to Healthtech and more. She will take on her role with SOSE in February 2021. A previous recruitment process for the post failed to appoint a CEO and the post is currently being filled on a temporary basis by Nick Halfhide.

Colin Smyth said: “I very much welcome the permanent appointment of a Chief Executive. I look forward to working with Jane when she takes on her role in February. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Interim Chief Executive, Nick Halfhide, for his work with SOSE since April, in particular getting the new body up and running in such challenging times.

“The new Chief Executive and SOSE faces a huge task in the coming months and years.

“The south of Scotland has some serious economic challenges which existed well before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is also more important than ever that local accountability sits at the heart of South of Scotland Enterprise.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed existing economic weaknesses in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. Both areas are still facing massive economic uncertainty, so this has been a real baptism of fire for the new agency.

“What we need is more high-quality jobs in the area which would encourage more young people to remain here and really boost our economy and I look forward to seeing how SOSE progresses its aims and ambitions.”

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