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Ayrshire Internationalisation Programme evaluation 2001 - 2003


The Ayrshire Internationalisation Programme, run by the Ayrshire Export Partnership (AEP) aimed to provide SMEs in Ayrshire a co-ordinated network of support for both potential and existing exporters. The evaluation aimed to assess the impact of the programme using both qualitative and quantitative measures. It also aimed to provide: information in support of current ERDF monitoring and claims; information which will support the next ERDF application for co-funding of the programme post March 2004; and feedback on the implementation of the programme from assisted SMEs, international trade partners and staff.


The methodology consisted of 58 email and postal questionnaires with assisted companies, follow-up telephone interviews with 8 participating companies, and interviews with constituent members of AEP.


Overall, participants gave a positive rating for the service they received from the AEP team, in terms of professionalism, knowledge and understanding, efficiency, ease of contact and access. In achieving the AEP’s own priority targets, activity reports show a high level of success. For each of the individual programmes over the two years, all the targets for number of companies participating were met or exceeded. In terms of the West of Scotland Objective 2 Programme, the project is on target to meet the projected achievements, while the Intermediate Results for job creation are not on target. Concludes that the Programme offers good value for money, with an ERDF cost per job of £3,290. Estimates the economic impact in terms of jobs created as 140 direct, 126 net locally and 108 net nationally.


Recommends that the programme: adopts a more proactive marketing approach; changes or shortens the AEP’s new brand name ‘Business Gateway International Trade – Ayrshire’; provides an Ayrshire representative to prospect for new clients; regularly gather reliable monitoring data; maintain the balance of repeat business and new exporters.

Author Hall Aitken
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Internationalisation
    Internationalisation of Scottish businesses