Housing association CEO given position on South of Scotland Economic Partnership

Helen Forsyth

Berwickshire Housing Association chief executive, Helen Forsyth, is to represent the third sector in a new partnership that aims to devise a fresh approach to economic development in the south of Scotland.

Supported by a £10 million funding injection announced in last month’s Budget, the South of Scotland Economic Partnership will pave the way for a dedicated enterprise agency for the region.

The partnership features members with a wealth of business experience across sectors, sizes and locations relevant to the South of Scotland, as well as representatives from education, the third sector and the public sector.

Helen Forsyth will represent the region’s third sector alongside Fred Murray from Old Luce Community Trust and Scottish Rural Action’s Amanda Burgauer.

She told Scottish Housing News: “To be asked to take part in the new South of Scotland Economic Partnership, is a great honour and I am absolutely delighted to be able to represent not only the housing sector but the local and regional community. It is an exciting new initiative which will help to promote the economic and social contribution that the region has to offer.”

Announcing the partnership and funding injection, economy secretary Keith Brown said: “This new partnership for the South of Scotland will be responsible for delivering a new approach to economic growth across the region as we prepare for the establishment of a new economic development agency for the South of Scotland.

“A range of key people with business, education, public sector and third sector experience have agreed to be members of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, and we will back their commitment with additional resources of £10m to boost economic development activities in the South of Scotland.

“The Partnership will ensure that the South of Scotland benefits from a dedicated focus in advance of the establishment of a new statutory agency.”

Mr Brown confirmed Professor Russell Griggs OBE as private sector chair of the body, and Borders Council’s Rob Dickson as the public sector lead back in November.

Professor Griggs OBE said: “I am pleased to be working with people with such a wide range of skills, expertise and commitment to the South of Scotland. The Partnership is now ready to bring a fresh approach to economic development to the South. We’re ambitious for the area and determined to make early progress.”

The full membership of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership is:

Chair of the Partnership – Professor Russel Griggs, OBE

Members bringing private sector expertise

  • Tom Barrie, Currie Solutions
  • Alistair Cameron, Scotmas Ltd
  • John Fordyce, Three Stills Company Limited
  • Paula Ogilvie, Borders Book Festival and Bright Sparks Partners
  • Tracey Roan, Roan’s Dairy
  • David Sulman, UK Forest Products and Scottish Timber Trade Association
  • Lorna Young, Indigo Works

Members bringing third sector expertise

  • Amanda Burgauer, Scottish Rural Action
  • Helen Forsyth, Berwickshire Housing Association
  • Fred Murray, Old Luce Community Trust

Members bringing further and higher education expertise

  • Barbara Kelly, Crichton Leadership Group
  • Tony Jakimciw, Borders College

Members from public sector organisations supporting economic development in the South of Scotland

  • Chris Brodie, head of skills, planning  and sector development, Skills Development Scotland
  • Douglas Cowan, director, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • Michael Cross, interim director of access, skills and outcome agreements, Scottish Funding Council
  • Tracey Logan, chief executive, Scottish Borders Council
  • Malcolm Roughead, chief executive, VisitScotland
  • Iain Scott, chief financial officer, Scottish Enterprise
  • Gavin Stevenson, chief executive, Dumfries and Galloway Council.