Midlothian losing its entrepreneurial spark

Saturday February 11th 2017

Ross Laird Liberal Democrats Midlothian

Midlothian Lib Dem spokesman, Ross Laird

Midlothian is missing out on potentially hundreds of jobs because not enough is being done to encourage entrepreneurs and setting up new businesses, according to Midlothian Lib Dems.

The Federation of Small Businesses Entrepreneurial Towns report (see HERE.) shows that the number of people who work for themselves in Midlothian is low in comparison to adjacent local authorities.

The report shows that the number of people running their own business is in line with the Scottish national average (6.4%), but some towns, such as Mayfield and Gorebridge, are below the national average at 5.8% and 6.1% respectively.

Roslin is the top performing town at 8.9%. However, Midlothian’s figures compare poorly to adjacent local authorities – with the Borders scoring 8.8% (and their top performing town of West Linton at 14.1%), East Lothian at 8.4% and Edinburgh at 7.9%.

Commenting on the report, Midlothian Lib Dem spokesman, Ross Laird said:

“Midlothian should be a hub for entrepreneurs and self-employed – we’re on the fringes of Edinburgh, with a fabulous environment and great talent. However, clearly not enough is being done by the Council to encourage people to start up their own businesses.

“How can nearby towns like West Linton, Peebles and Haddington have much higher rates of self-employment than Penicuik and Dalkeith?

“More needs to be done to create opportunities for people to set up in business and create jobs. The Business Improvement Districts and developments at Roslin obviously point to the way forward, but we also need a competitive environment in Midlothian, better infrastructure and on-going support for small businesses.”

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