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Property ‘Gap Funded’ interventions: evaluation - final report for Scottish Enterprise Borders


Scottish Enterprise Borders (SEB) supported 84 individual property ‘gap funded’ projects, between 1996 and 2002. These were appraised on a case-by-case basis, but support was based on the SEB’s implicit understanding that companies with property issues should be assisted to address market failure. The evaluation aimed to: establish the validity of the original rationale; assess the success of the interventions; review the number, size and range of companies supported; measure the impact of the interventions; consider the views of supported companies; review the fit with and relationship to other SEB assistance; and assess the approach and its validity.


The methodology consisted of: a set up, baseline review, a consultation programme (with 10 individuals across 4 organisations), a research programme (interviews with either face-to-face or telephone sample of 41 companies), a learning workshop, and analysis and reporting.


The largest group of companies are within the manufacturing sector. Companies are generally happy with the support, report quantifiable impacts and benefits consistent with original objectives, are able to cite qualitative impacts and benefits, and most would approach SEB for further support. Representing good value for money, the economic impacts include: net additional sales of £29.2 million at the local level, (£25.5 million, Scottish level); net additional employment of 1,040 FTEs at the local level (1,284 FTEs, Scottish level); 139 FTEs at local level of construction employment created (208 FTEs, Scottish level); cost per net additional job created based on SEB spend is £9,223 per FTE at the local level (£7,482, Scottish level). Finds that the leverage of SEB to all other spend is: 1:5.3. Concludes that the Property ‘Gap Funded’ support will continue to deliver economic benefits and impacts for the Borders economy.


Recommends that SEB should open dialogue with other rural LECs. Account managers should have greater involvement in the decision-making process on whether to support a business. Suggests the development of: a funding application form; an early briefing session with Account Managers and other Business Development staff; and a standard approval paper format which makes explicit the requirement to participate in future evaluation exercises. Suggests that SEB should monitor a small sample of projects in detail. Advises that over the next three years SEB should move toward a strategic approach which could command around 50% of the overall budget. Recommends that cognisance of the type of development and property being created or upgraded is required to ensure that it is suitable for other business occupiers.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Company specific