A new business group set up by the Secretary of State for Scotland will put Scotland at the heart of the UK’s economic growth agenda.
Michael Moore today announced details of the Trade and Economic Growth Board he has established to assist the Scotland Office in the development of economic policy and to examine the specific ways it affects Scotland. It will add and feed into the UK Government’s Growth Review and provide an active forum for businesses to discuss issues directly with the Cabinet minister responsible for Scotland.
The Board will bring together representatives from key sectors in the Scottish economy alongside expertise from within government, with support from the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It will also receive independent economic advice.
Michael Moore said: “This Board will take the key issues for Scottish businesses and work through them with both urgency and precision. It gives us the opportunity to hear directly from businesses, both large and small, and work through those issues with economists and key government departments. It can only be good for Scotland’s businesses to have a stronger voice as we look for the best ways to create growth in our economy. The ultimate aim is to identify the barriers that are holding Scotland back and find innovative ways of removing them. I very much look forward to working with the Board in Scotland’s interests.”
The Board is intended to provide the Secretary of State with a sounding board for how the Scottish economy is responding to UK and Scottish government policies. It will also act as an interactive forum for business to discuss policies.
The Board will consist of senior people drawn from a range of major and SME businesses operating in Scotland. Board members are selected for their ability to bring to discussions an outstanding grasp of the strategic and practical issues facing Scottish businesses.
A number of high quality individuals have already accepted invitations. They include Neil Bruce of AMEC, Allan Cook, of Selex Galileo, Paul Nelson of Allied Vehicles, and Neil McManus of Spirit Aerospace.
Board attendees are also expected to include external economists and representatives from other government departments.
The first meeting of the Board is expected to take place before the end of 2011 and the intention is to meet at least twice a year, or more often if members deem it necessary. An annual trade forum for a wider audience will also be set up. Minutes of the meetings will be made available publicly through the Scotland Office website.