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Evaluation of the Small Towns Initiative – operations 2001 – 2004: final report for Stranraer, Cairnryan and Portpatrick Small Towns Initiative


The Stranraer, Portpatrick and Cairnryan Small Towns Initiative (STI) aimed to develop the three rural towns, providing focused assistance to boost local businesses and enhance their environments. The evaluation aimed to assess the outputs and performance achieved by the STI in relation to work undertaken, compared with the targets as laid out in the 2001 ERDF application, and use the study’s outcomes to inform STI’s future development and operations.


The methodology consisted of: inception and set up; a consultation programme with SE Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council and the South of Scotland European Partnership; a primary research programme with local businesses; and analysis and reporting.


Concludes that although the STI achieved 7 out of 12 ERDF targets, its true impact was minimal and it did not achieve high levels of additionality. Calculates STI projects’ impacts as: a net expenditure of £219,942 at the local level (£198,453, Scottish level); and net employment of 7 FTEs at the local level (8 FTEs, Scottish level). Comments that the level of resources could not realistically have had any significant impact on the economy. Identifies significant aspirations to regenerate the Stranraer Waterfront area which was not translated into activity. Notes that the original Action Plan did not form the basis of STI activity.


Generally recommends that any future activity should be based on a formalised and achievable Action Plan, involving the key delivery organisations and taking into account likely resources. Suggests that the choice of Board member needs to be considered and the Board should take an active role in managing the organisation’s strategic actions. Shows that regular monitoring of activity is required and the setting of targets and objectives for Action Plans should be the responsibility of the key strategic partners. Recommends that any future intervention should focus on the Stranraer Waterfront.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Area regeneration
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses