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Ayrshire Business in the Community: evaluation report


Ayrshire Business in the Community (AbiC) was established in early 2000 as a partnership involving Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire (SEA) and the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), supported by Scottish Business in the Community (SbiC). Its objective was to promote and facilitate effective partnerships between locally based businesses and disadvantaged communities, particularly those designated as Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) areas. Funding for ABiC was due to end in 2004 and the evaluation was carried out in 2003, six months prior to this. It aimed to assess the effectiveness of the project and make recommendations for the future.


A postal survey of 24 companies which were involved in some way with ABiC, and interviews with individuals from five companies and nine partner organisations, and the project manager.


The programme was found to be very effective in promoting itself, encouraging companies to identify and support community initiatives, targeting support in disadvantaged communities, and helping companies improve their image in terms of corporate social responsibility. Issues that were identified included the ad hoc manner in which initiatives were supported, which was attributed to limited levels of strategic direction from the Board of Management, the rather more involved than intended role of the Project Manager, the underrepresentation of smaller firms and certain sectors, the lack of an effective monitoring process to measure outputs, the lack of administrative resources, and the need to expand and diversify the funding base.


The following recommendations were made: ABiC should aim for more strategic direction, with a more responsible role for the Board, a more ‘hands-off’ role for the Project Manager and an administrative resource for both; the support and involvement of currently underrepresented sectors and smaller companies should be harnessed to maximise community investment; and other funding sources should be considered, such as Community Funds, ESF Objective 3, private sector contributions and local authority funds.

Author Janet Hamilton Associates
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Area regeneration, Local/community regeneration
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Economic Inclusion