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Minister to help launch A Roadmap to Decarbonisation

A report predicting more than 2,200 jobs can be created by retrofitting energy efficiency measures to the South of Scotland’s social housing stock is to be officially launched this month.

‘A Roadmap to Decarbonisation’ will be presented on Tuesday 21 February at Eildon Housing Association’s Headquarters in Selkirk, with the keynote speech delivered by Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Public Finance, Planning & Community Wealth.

Other speakers will include Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), and Nile Istephan, Chief Executive of Eildon Housing Association, with both organisations working together to commission A Roadmap to Decarbonisation.

The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) produced the report, and its lead author, CLES Associate Director Antonia Jennings, will complete the speaker line up.

The launch event is open to anyone involved construction and housing, or with an interest in Community Wealth Building and the Just Transition to Net Zero.

A Roadmap to Decarbonisation details how a Community Wealth Building approach to retrofitting energy efficiency measures to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) housing stock in the South could bring significant benefits.

The report concludes that by using their influence to develop the retrofit supply chain, registered social landlords in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders can create £112million in direct Gross Value Added (GVA) for the local economy by 2030, and more than 2,200 jobs.

Anyone looking to attend the launch event on 21 February, which runs from 9.30am to 11am, must register at by 12noon on Friday 17 February.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said:

“Reducing carbon emissions from social housing is vital if we are to reach Net Zero by 2045 and help build a more sustainable economy.

“This roadmap underlines the value of a Community Wealth Building approach to retrofitting energy efficiency measures in encouraging large suppliers to deliver more local training places, apprenticeships and graduate jobs.

“Community Wealth Building can be a valuable tool in transforming local and regional economies like the South of Scotland to become greener, fairer and more prosperous.”

Professor Russel Griggs, SOSE Chair, added:

“The creation of more social and private housing is one of our key economic priorities for the South of Scotland.

“We need developers and the local supply chain to help take this forward by creating energy efficient housing through retrofitting and also by building new homes to tackle our overall shortage of housing.

“A Roadmap to Decarbonisation highlights the opportunity for the South of Scotland to create skilled, well paid jobs, all locally based and working to make our region’s housing stock the most energy efficient it can be.

“I would encourage any businesses, social enterprises, organisations or community groups with an interest in this area to sign up for the launch event.”

Nile Istephan, Chief Executive of Eildon Housing said:

“The findings of the Report highlight the potential for all registered social landlords (RSLs) in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders to take a leading role together in delivering a just transition to decarbonisation and influencing the retrofit supply chain.

“By using energy efficiency measures on our homes, the report concludes it has the potential to create over 2,200 jobs and £112m for the local economy which is fantastic news, and a cause for celebration in our region.”

The launch of A Roadmap to Decarbonisation coincides with a Scottish Government consultation on plans for new Community Wealth Building legislation – the first of its kind in the world – as part of its wider strategy to transform Scotland’s economy.

The consultation is available until Tuesday 25 April at

Sarah Longlands, Chief Executive of CLES, said:

“This report shows what is possible when organisations – such as housing associations, local authorities and other local anchor institutions – commit to working together in the interests of the people and places they serve.

“It illustrates how a community wealth building approach can help to unlock solutions to complex economic, social and environmental challenges in Scotland.

“At a time when there is huge concern locally and nationally about housing, heating and energy costs, it is great that organisations in the South of Scotland are leading the way by showing the potential of an economy which generates good outcomes for people, place and planet.”

‘A Roadmap to Decarbonisation: Retrofit of social housing stock in the South of Scotland’ is available to read here.

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