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Smart Successful Ayrshire: evaluation


The Smart Successful Ayrshire (SSA) programme aimed to: create a balanced economy; enhance connectivity to markets; develop a positive workforce; reduce unemployment; and foster pride in Ayrshire. The interim evaluation aimed to: confirm and audit the data collected through the monitoring process; access a range of data, particularly qualitative, from the relevant projects in SSA; obtain the information necessary to measure outputs/outcomes and produce anticipated impacts; facilitate learning from the delivery of SSA to improve further performance; and offer observations on the suitability of projects to meet the aims and objectives of SSA.


The methodology consisted of: an inception period; desk-based review, including data from approval papers, monitoring information and individual project evaluations; face-to-face consultations with individual project managers; and final analysis and reporting.


Finds that the overall expenditure for any given year has been revised downwards when individual projects were delayed or estimated to spend less than anticipated. Suggests that the projects on a whole are performing well. The Prestwick Development Zone project was removed from SSA, which halved the level of target spend, and the link between initial high level targets and what was developed at the project level was broken early in the process. Lists a number of qualitative benefits which have been beneficial, not only for the duration of the SSA, but which will benefit future delivery when adopted into mainstream support.


Recommends that monitoring data on the activities, outputs and impacts at Programme and Plan level is provided to the Operations Management Group. Advises that where future Plans have ring-fenced funding, there is a need to continually review the portfolio of projects. When projects are delayed or there is underspending, suggests there is a need to establish whether new projects could be developed or existing projects extended. Recommends that SEA undertake an internal review of future plans after 12 months. Mentions that the portfolio of projects that have been developed needs to be continually assessed.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support