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Scottish Construction Centre evaluation


The Scottish Construction Centre (SCC) was launched in 2007 in response to the 2003 ‘Achieving Construction Innovation and Excellence in Scotland’ report and the recommendations of the Modernising Construction Strategic Group. SCC’s remit was to improve the performance of the Scottish construction industry through innovation and excellence. The Centre’s main objectives were to: assist the Scottish construction industry to improve its productivity and overall performance; raise awareness of best practice and availability of support services; unify support for industry through provision of a ‘one door’ enquiry and signposting service; analyse and disseminate information on industry performance; and deliver the Construction Demonstration Project Model programme and establish Best Practice Clubs across Scotland. The SCC has supported a wide range of activities through a combination of one-to-many services/activities, notably the website and information portals, but also through guidance and information, and workshops and events. Scottish Enterprise (SE) commissioned GEN to undertake an evaluation of the work of the Centre to date, assess its impact, and to review the service offering and model of delivery. It was hoped that the lessons learnt would be useful for the successor body Construction Scotland that was launched in April 2011.


The evaluation consisted of four elements: a review of all relevant documentation, financial and monitoring information; a business survey of event attendees and/or users of the information portal (106 in total, 5% of the registered users and event attendees); a set of case studies with individual businesses that have been supported through the SCC; and a series of interviews with key stakeholders.


It is clear the SCC has delivered benefits to businesses. From the survey of more than 100 businesses, satisfaction levels with the workshops and events was high, with 85% satisfied or very satisfied and 92% regarding them useful or very useful. Around 80% of respondents would use the services of the Centre again, and are likely to do so, although there is more uncertainty over their willingness to contribute to costs, where half would be prepared to pay. Businesses cited limited resources and insufficient added value as their reason for not wishing to pay. Given that the SCC is relatively young, 50% willing to pay may be regarded as a positive finding. In terms of economic impact, the SCC has generated a range of financial benefits, including increased sales/turnover for a small number of businesses, safeguarded sales/turnover, reduced costs and increased profits for a small number of businesses. The recession has had a marked effect on the Centre’s performance, which is reflected in safeguarded employment rather than job creation, and cost savings rather than turnover growth. After a slow start, the SCC has started to achieve some wider benefits for the industry. The majority of partners agree that the SCC now better understands the needs of the industry and that it is more integrated and a better resource for the Scottish Construction Forum, the strategic industry-wide group the SCC was designed to support. Overall, the consensus, although not unanimous, is that the Centre has played a valuable role and one which it is important to maintain. On balance, the work and future role of the Centre (and Construction Scotland) has been endorsed by the consultation and research undertaken, with the caveat of needing to reinforce the successful elements of service provision and addressing those areas where further improvement would benefit the industry.


Some broad recommendations were made relating to potential service/product enhancements, including: strong partnership working between organisations active in the sector should be further developed and reinforced with appropriate mechanisms to facilitate partnership working; efforts need to be made to retain the benefits of building the SCC brand; consideration should be given on how to maintain/further build the capacity of the Local Construction Forums (LCFs); market research should be undertaken to determine the services which are commercially viable; and sponsorship and monetisation of the web site should be considered as a means of generating income. It was hoped that these could be useful in guiding the activities undertaken by Construction Scotland.

Author GEN Consulting
Published Year 2011
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors