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Evaluation of Scottish Enterprise Technology Park


The Scottish Enterprise Technology Park (SETP) was set up in East Kilbride over fifty years ago as the National Engineering Laboratory, and taken over by the Scottish Enterprise Network in 1994, with responsibility for its management lying with Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire. Some of the park's main objectives are to promote economic and business development, provide a flagship project for Lanarkshire in a niche market, encourage growth in technology-based companies and maximise opportunities for technology transfer. The evaluation's aims were to assess the economic benefits of the SETP over the period April 1994 to March 2006.


The following activities were undertaken: desk research, comprising a review of the park's monitoring data, activity reports, approval and management papers; consultations with Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire executives involved in the management of the SETP; and a face-to-face survey with SETP residents.


There has been strong growth in employment while companies have been on site, but the SETP project overall has had limited impact on employment growth and turnover. The constraints that prevented the private sector investing in the park before 1994 have been addressed. The park has provided a focus for SEL's property intervention and growing business intervention. Property support was considered by the consultees to have been delivered well. Innovation levels compare well against national figures but are low when compared with other UKSPA members; also, for most companies involved in innovation activity, their location at the SETP was not a factor. The economic impacts of the SETP were estimated as follows: gross turnover was £210.5m-£268.2m; gross employment was 1533-1824 full-time employees (FTEs); local net turnover was £8.13m-£9.68m; national net turnover was £7.86m-£9.68m; local net employment was 29-33 FTEs; national net employment was 46-55 FTEs; local GVA contribution was £1.05m-£1.25m; and national GVA contribution was £1.96m-£2.33m.


The following steps were recommended: establish a development plan for the SETP; develop a delivery model for this plan's targets; develop a monitoring system for SETP projects; follow up tenants after they leave the SETP; review the criteria for entry to the SETP so that business innovation becomes mandatory; conduct an audit of all tenants to assess the extent to which they meet this criterion; instigate or promote marketing activity on innovative products; review the results of the tenants survey with the SETP property and facilities manager to ascertain how services can be improved; make sure the property and facilities manager informs tenants of the services available; improve signage to the site from nearby major roads; and put in place a branding exercise to promote the park and its new name.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Company specific
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Innovation
    Business innovation