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Evaluation of the West of Scotland Science Park


The West of Scotland Science Park (WSSP) officially opened on 19th September 1983, aiming to provide a location for the development of businesses focusing on emerging and future technologies. It offers a foundation for companies through the provision of an environment which: offers accommodation of an appropriate standard for high level technology; provides easy-access to the technical, business and leisure facilities of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde; and connects business advisory services with tenants through Scottish Enterprise’s (SE’s) Account Managers. The evaluation aimed to assess the economic development benefits of the WSSP over the period 1984 to 2008, focusing on: performance against targets; achievement of objectives: outputs achieved; along with an assessment of the economic impact at a local and national level.


The methodology consisted of desk-based review and analysis, consultations and fieldwork.


In terms of the objectives of the study, the evaluation found that: it was the business and skill development interventions that delivered enhanced turnover and employment growth in the companies rather than them securing premises at the WSSP; there has been strong growth in employment while companies have been on site; the project had limited impact on employment and/or turnover and the net additional impacts represent a small proportion of gross turnover and employment within tenant companies; and property support has been delivered well, with the on-site managing agents responding well to tenants’ property needs, offering flexible solutions to address a wide range of property needs. A total of £8.179m of public sector money has been invested in the Park infrastructure and services since 2000 while SE has received, net of VAT, some £8.325m of revenue from WSSP, suggesting that SE have received some £146,000 more in revenue than it has spent on developing the Park. SE’s intervention in the Park has provided a good fit with a number of strategic frameworks, both past and current. WSSP is a tangible and visible success story in terms of SE’s support to new technology and innovation, and is consistent with its new Business Plan.


The future development of WSSP depends on three factors - continued demand for accommodation on the Park; the need for further investment; and the role SE chooses to adopt in relation to future park development. It is recommended that SE intervention continues.

Author Ekos Consulting
Published Year 2010
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses