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International trade evaluation: Renfrewshire Inverclyde exports – final report


The International Trade Development (ITD) Programme, run by the Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Export (RIE) Partnership, aimed to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ providing businesses with advice and support on all aspects of international trade development. The evaluation aimed to: assess the full impact of the programme; identify good practice for future intervention; establish its overall value for money; and demonstrate the need and demand for continued ERDF funding.


The methodology consisted of: a baseline Review; a consultation programme; a research programme; a Learning Workshop; and analysis and reporting.


The programme has supported relatively low levels of displacement at a local level. Finds that the value of net additional sales achieved is around £6.32 million at local level (around £6.04 million, national level) and the level of net additional employment at local level is 72.4 FTEs (78.8 FTEs at national level). The value for money assessments show that the leverage ratios achieved are relatively high. Concludes that the RIE Programme is delivering substantial economic benefits to the Renfrewshire and Scottish economies. Recognises that training has failed to deliver the expected benefits. Observes that the programme has not, and is unlikely to, achieve the targets outlined in the 2002 ERDF application.


Suggests that RIE partners need to: improve programme marketing; ensure better integration and linkages between company needs and exporting assistance; be aware of, and keep up to date with, wider business development support initiatives; improve the flow and type of information given to all partners; clarify the role and responsibilities of the Chamber of Commerce; and amend contract agreements with supported companies. SE Renfrewshire should apply for further ERDF support for the RIE Programme and continue to receive public sector support. Other issues for consideration include: Productisation and its impact; tailoring future intervention to the Renfrewshire economic profile; and links with other exporting initiatives, including training.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Internationalisation
    Exporting, Internationalisation of Scottish businesses