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South of Scotland Alliance meets with Deputy First Minister

John Swinney Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has met with the South of Scotland Alliance to discuss the main economic challenges facing businesses and communities in the south of Scotland.

At the meeting in Dumfries, he was updated on the progress of the South of Scotland Rural Regional Economic Development Programme.

But other topics discussed included constitutional changes, European funding, superfast broadband and mobile phone coverage.

The alliance, which is made up of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, and Scottish Enterprise, said the meeting was "constructive".

“This was an important meeting with Mr Swinney where we raised key issues concerning the economic development of the south of Scotland and the importance of working with the Scottish Government.

“Positive progress is being made on some of our key economic projects such as the Borders Railway, but others such as Stranraer Waterfront still need further Government and national agency support.

"There is also still a great deal of work to be done to push forward effective programmes to support businesses in the south of Scotland in relation to innovation, internationalisation and leadership and to ensure we have comprehensive mobile phone coverage and broadband links in our remoter areas.’’

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Alliance Chair, and Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee

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