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Evaluation of Scottish Enterprise Borders' response to Foot and Mouth disease: a final report to Scottish Enterprise Borders


The aim of the evaluation was to assess the impact of the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) on the Borders economy, and the effectiveness of Scottish Enterprise Borders’ (SEB) response to the crisis. SEB intervened during the crisis to try to sustain local jobs; it did this through grant assistance, loan finance, consultancy and business training support. These activities were the subject of the evaluation.


Stage one of the study involved a desk-based analysis of SEB’s relevant documents. Stage two involved detailed interviews with businesses receiving assistance during the FMD outbreak, and consultations with staff from SEB and SE Dumfries and Galloway.


The study found that the FMD outbreak was extremely damaging to the Borders economy. The SEB FMD support programme delivered £1.8 million of support to 245 businesses in the area in 2001, along with recovery plans and monitoring. Assisted businesses used the support given for the following purposes: for capital investment; to ease cashflow problems; to increase marketing; to make loan repayments; to pay creditors; and to pay wages. 94% of businesses surveyed said that SEB’s support had a positive impact. The study of quantitative impacts concluded that the net economic impact of the programme in 2001 was £1.4 million and in 2003 was £2.7 million. When the cost of the programme was weighed up against jobs saved and new jobs created, it was calculated that SEB got good value for money. The delivery of support was rated well by the assisted businesses.


A more rigorous recovery planning process was recommended, as the recovery planning and monitoring processes were found to be areas of weakness. It was also suggested that improving these processes would feed back into and thus improve the design of future support programmes.

Author Biggar Economics
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Sectors
    Food and drink, Forest industries, Textiles, Tourism
  • Investment
    Debt investment/loans
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Skills Development