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Evaluation of Operational Funded Organisations


Solway Heritage (SH) aimed to: secure the sustainable management of the natural and man-made heritage; conserve and enhance buildings or artefacts of architectural historical interest; conserve and enhance landscape and wildlife resources; and interpret and encourage informed public access to the built, natural and cultural heritage. The Dumfries Town Centre Partnership (DTCP) aimed to achieve an attractive high quality and user-friendly town centre, with a range of use and activities. The evaluation aimed to assess the performance and outputs achieved from their operational funding support; and investigate the potential for increasing income generation, without displacing private sector income, in operating the organisations.


The methodology consisted of: internal benchmarking to highlight key areas of priority; and external benchmarking to measure attributes against other SEDG projects.


Finds SH to be professionally run and have a credible claim for continual support. SH’s strengths include: a long standing, co-operative relationship with its core funders; strong relationships with many complementary organisations; and a team of ‘on the ground’ specialists. Notes that DCTP is in the process of voluntary liquidation, due to complex and various reasons. Suggests that the DTCP has failed because of: its negative impact on local confidence and ultimately on the local economy; the lack of required skills from the Town Centre Manager; the lack of will to buy into the objectives set for the organisation, either by itself or others.


Recommendations to improve SH include a strategic look at future funding sources, a more tactical approach to marketing, and an assessment of the generic economic benefits of environment and heritage preservation and improvement activities. Recommends that DTCP’s replacement should ideally come from the Town Centre business community and that SEDG and its public sector partners should avoid the creation of wasteful splinter groups in the meantime.

Author The Market Specialists
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Area regeneration, Local/community regeneration
  • Sectors