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Ayrshire Key Fund: evaluation report


The Ayrshire Key Fund aimed to encourage the growth of community based organisations and the contribution that they make to regeneration activities, by improving access to European Structural Funds. The evaluation aimed to: assess progress in relation to activity, output and impact measures; analyse how the social economy organisations have benefited from support; measure success of the fund in terms of achievement of objectives, relative effectiveness and efficiency; review the approach in setting up the fund; and provide recommendations for the future.


The methodology consisted of: data collection and analysis; a programme of interviews with key stakeholders and partner agencies; and a programme of interviews with projects.


Confirms that Ayrshire Key Fund operates effectively and makes a significant impact, supporting slightly above the target number of beneficiaries. Suggests that local organisations are achieving a ‘double hit’ in terms of the activity undertaken and the client group supported. Highlights that £637,164 of additional funding has been secured, providing a combined investment of £1,453,914. Indicates that good progress has been made towards achieving the programme targets and robust monitoring systems have been established. Notes that positive feedback has been received from local projects regarding the available support, the application process and the speed of the decision making.


For the future development of the fund, recommends: continuing the Ayrshire Key Fund; basing strategic targeting of any future fund on partner agencies’ priorities; basing future geographical targeting of activity on the designated areas identified in the Regeneration Outcome Agreements; and assessing how the fund would complement other grant programmes. For the operation of the fund, recommends: continuing effective support arrangements; developing the decision-making process; implementing the horizontal themes; encouraging projects to set targets for activity based on soft indicators; establishing data-capturing systems; developing the promotion of the fund; and supporting local projects to apply for other funding.

Author MCM Associates Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Local/community regeneration
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses, Social enterprise
  • Equity
    Sustainable development