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Evaluation of Building Buchan New Beginnings ERDF funded business support


Building Buchan New Beginnings (BBNB) was a three year action plan established in 2003 to address the economic challenges facing coastal communities in North Aberdeenshire. This evaluation focuses on the main ERDF funded component of the plan, namely Growing the Business Base and ICT Broadband Manager themes. Growing the Business Base involved the establishment of various projects, such as the provision of support for new firm formation, diversification, and market development, as well as providing advice on improving e-business processes and running management development and waste reduction workshops. Projects were also set up to help foster an enterprise culture, provide guidance on lean management techniques and providing workforce training and development. In relation to ICT Broadband Manager, projects were set up to deliver the establishment of an ICT centre in Peterhead, encourage the adoption of ICT and related skills development, and stimulate the adoption of broadband.


The evaluation involved a review of approval papers, ERDF claim forms and Building Buchan Board papers, a review of key management information held on the project and a survey of 150 business that had received support via either Growing Business Base or ICT Broadband Manager. A programme of consultation was also carried out with key partners and stakeholders.


Finds that the partners felt that BBNB was effective, added value, aligned well with other relevant activity and was well managed. Support was mainly taken by small firms in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The project was found to help virtually all businesses involved to improve their business performance and take on e-business practices. In terms of progress on the ERDF funded themes, it was found that 12 out of 27 targets had been achieved under the Growing the Business theme and 20 out of 27 targets had been achieved under the ICT Broadband Manager theme. The project has had a substantial economic impact, including creating £9.6 million net turnover, £5 million net GVA, and 178 net jobs, including 409 safeguarded jobs.


No recommendations have been made.

Author GEN Consulting
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, Sector-level support
  • Equity
    Sustainable development
  • Labour Market and Skills
    Leadership/management development