7. Location of the new Agency
7.1. It is vital to ensure that the Agency is accessible to businesses and communities across the South of Scotland with its headquarters and leadership clearly based in the South. We would welcome views on how best to deliver accessibility. For example:
- the Agency could have minimal physical presence with its services delivered digitally across the area;
- there could be a single central headquarters from which all services could be provided;
- the Agency could take the form of a hub and spoke model – with its larger headquarters complemented by smaller offices in locations across the area;
- locations could depend on the activities being provided; or
- the Agency could be entirely co-located with other public sector organisations.
7.2 We would welcome views on the criteria that should be used to inform a decision about location. In deciding the location of other bodies in the past, a range of criteria has been considered. The criteria this time might include: connectivity and accessibility, proximity to key populations, proximity to other services; potential impact and benefits to local economy; or availability of suitable premises. Wherever the location, the Agency will want to make best use of technology. The legislation will not prescribe the location or the structure of the Agency. However, it will make clear that the Agency's headquarters need to be in its area of operation, clearly rooted in the South and led from the area in which it operates.
7.3 It is important that the Agency benefits from the expertise of people in the South of Scotland and that people from the South want to engage to lead and direct it over the years to come. The legislation will set out that the appointments to the Board will be subject to the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland  put in place by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland. The Agency should have a Board which is accessible, transparent, visible and engaged with stakeholders across the area, and which properly reflects the businesses and communities of the South, understanding living and working in the area.
Question 11: Which option, either from the list above or your own suggestion, do you think offers the best way to ensure the Agency is accessible to all across the South of Scotland?
Question 12: Which criteria should be used in reaching a decision about the location of the Agency?
Question 13: If you were to use the services of this Agency, what factors are important to you in terms of reaching it? (This might relate to the location itself, to transportation links, or to proximity to other services, or digital delivery, for example.)
Question 14: What sort of people should be on the Board of the Agency and what sorts of skills and expertise should they have?