Views of those living in the South of Scotland will be heard by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee when it visits Dumfries and Galashiels to examine proposals to create a South of Scotland enterprise agency.
Engagement events in the region are being held by the Committee as part of its consideration of the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill.
These include two public participation sessions in Dumfries and Galashiels. Stakeholders, members of the public and school pupils can find out how an enterprise agency covering the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway council areas can boost productivity and skills development, and drive inclusive growth in the region.
Encouraging local people and organisations to attend, Committee Convener Edward Mountain MSP, said:
"Our engagement events in the South of Scotland are a great opportunity for the Committee to hold discussions on the Bill in the heart of the community. We are looking forward to meeting a wide range of businesses, community organisations and members of the public in attendance, where they are invited to ask questions and to offer their opinions on the Bill.
"We urge everyone with an interest in the Bill to come along to meetings in Dumfries and Galashiels and let us know what they think of an enterprise agency in the South of Scotland and how it can encourage productivity, wage growth and skill levels."
Formal committee meeting - Dumfries, 14 January, 6.30pm
The Committee will be holding an external meeting in Dumfries on Monday 14th January from 18.30pm to 20.30pm at Easterbrook Hall, Bankend Road. Giving evidence will be the local councils for Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, along with other South of Scotland organisations. Members of the public will be able to book their seat to watch the meeting in the public gallery.
Informal meeting with public participation - Dumfries, 14 January, 4.00pm
On the afternoon of 14th January there will also be an informal discussion event where members of the public can give their views directly to the Committee MSPs, running from 4pm to 5.30pm, and which will also be held at Easterbrook Hall.
Informal meeting with public participation - Galashiels, 23 January, 7.15pm
Those who live in the Scottish Borders will have their chance to take part in an informal discussion with the MSPs in Galashiels on Wednesday 23rd January, at the Scottish Borders Campus, Nether Road, from 7.15pm to 8.45pm.
To attend the informal discussions with MSPs, please contact South.ScotlandEnterpriseAgency@parliament.scot by 4th January 2019, and indicate whether you would like to attend either the Dumfries or Galashiels event.
For FREE tickets to watch the formal Committee meeting, please contact the Scottish Parliament's Visitor Services on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 0131 348 5200 or freephone 0800 092 7600.
The establishment of an enterprise body for the South of Scotland was announced in October 2016 as part of the Scottish Government's enterprise and skills review.
The South of Scotland Enterprise Agency Bill will set up a new body called 'South of Scotland Enterprise'. It is a short Bill which focuses on the detail of how the agency should be organised and outlines its purposes, powers and duties.
As well as the events above, there are two other ways to share your views.
If you want to give a quick response, we encourage you to fill out our online survey.
If you would like to give a more detailed, longer response, you can send a written submission using our response form.
Both survey and written views should be sent by 7 January 2019.