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Riverside Inverclyde URC: PBI (Physical Business Infrastructure) evaluation


The Riverside Inverclyde (RI) Urban Regeneration Company (URC) aimed to advance economic growth through the exploitation of opportunity, for the benefit of the business and residential community of Inverclyde. The physical business infrastructure (PBI) element of RI activity aimed to: accelerate the pace of physical regeneration to provide regionally competitive locations for new businesses and homes; facilitate economic restructuring; provide widespread access to the opportunities created; and integrate Inverclyde with the regional economy. The evaluation aimed to: assess performance outputs and outcomes; assess outputs against targets; report on project performance against budget and timescale goals; and conduct an economic appraisal.


The methodology consisted of: method interviews with stakeholders, including businesses located in RI owned business property at Ladyburn Business Centre and stakeholder consultees who have been involved with RI (board members, funding organisations, etc); an analysis of previous project evaluations; and an economic impact appraisal (EIA), based on HM Treasury Green book guidance.


The property holding company, Riverside Inverclyde (Property Holdings) Ltd (RIPH) delivers most of the PBI related projects. The projects generate economic benefits which deliver additional value to the local area. Estimated net outputs outcomes from 2007-2010 (and from 2010-2014) include 80 jobs (260 jobs), 3 construction jobs (6 construction jobs) and an annual GVA of £3.1m (£12.5m). PBI activity makes a significant contribution toward gross jobs and GVA, but it may become difficult to achieve future projected economic outputs, due to recent economic conditions. One of the qualitative benefits of the PBI projects is 'place-making', which removes areas of neglect, generates confidence amongst local residents and businesses and encourages new investment in property development and upgrade. There is good overall support for the URC. RI is perceived to have a strong and experienced delivery team and has developed strong partnerships with key partners. RI activity has been largely additional.


The report suggests that RI should reconsider target physical outputs and economic outcomes, given the recent economic changes and current performance. A full and formal interim programme evaluation should be undertaken in order to consider the wide range of activities undertaken by the URC and to confirm the evaluation's conclusions and recommendations. An improved internal project management system for RI would provide a clearer method of monitoring project activity and measuring outputs and outcomes. Clarity around the apportioned share of targets for each Business Plan period would assist in the monitoring of URC activity. There is a need for strategic Board discussion to confirm the rationale for RI involvement in the future management and delivery of a range of projects. Review RI funding approval papers should include a proportionate contribution from each individual funding partner and a clear allocation of physical output and economic outcomes, directly related to the specific activity being funded.

Author Mhairi Donaghy, EKOS Economic and Social Development
Published Year 2010
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Area regeneration