Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has called on the SNP Government to take ‘the next step’ when it comes to creating a Galloway National Park.
The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP, who has consistently pushed for a national park for the region since being elected in 2016, was left disappointed by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP suggesting a national park could “economically sterilise” the area.
In his questioning, Mr Carson highlighted the success of the Cairngorm National Park, where 9,400 people have been employed within the park, and where the unemployment rate is at 3.2%.
With reference to the Cairngorms National Park he highlighter that after its establishments there was an increasing number of young people – less out-migration of young people and more young people moving to the area.
Mr Carson then challenged the SNP Government to commit to a feasibility study for a Galloway National Park.
Mr Mackay said if Mr Carson could highlight the economic opportunities that a Galloway National Park could bring, then he would be “happy to explore further.”
Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “I have continuously championed the case for a Galloway National Park since my election in 2016, believing it would bring a major economic boost to the region.
“I wanted to push the Finance Secretary to commit to a feasibility study for a National Park, and therefore I was disappointed that he suggested that a national park could potentially “economically sterilise ” the area.
“I thought he would have recognised the many benefits that National Park designation has brought for the Cairngorms, which I believe can be replicated in Galloway.
“We need to be encouraging our youngsters to stay in the region and a Galloway National Park could help provide many opportunities.
“I will continue to push the SNP Government to take the next steps in progressing plans for a national park for Galloway, which would truly put this region on the map both nationally and internationally.”