Page last updated at 23:14 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 00:14 UK

Region fights for higher profile

Dumfries and Jedburgh
The forum hopes to boost Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders

The creation of a South of Scotland Forum is being considered to help the area attract increased investment.

The group would be used to represent the interests of organisations across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

A joint meeting between the councils for the two areas has been suggested in order to consider the proposal.

Dumfries and Galloway's regeneration director Tony Fitzpatrick said it was time to address the "low level of priority" afforded to the region.

The two councils already work together under the umbrella organisation, the South of Scotland Alliance.

However, the new forum would bring in other public bodies and private businesses.

It would then be used to strengthen the region's case for greater investment from the Scottish and UK governments as well as the European Union.

"This is a crucial stage in the development and positioning of the south of Scotland," said Mr Fitzpatrick.

"The potential for a Scottish Government supported forum cannot be underestimated in terms of medium to long term pay-off."

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