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Evaluation of the Scottish Government’s Inward Investment Support


Scotland’s Inward Investment Plan “Shaping Scotland’s Economy” included an action to develop a robust monitoring and evaluation approach. Scottish Government established a working group of Team Scotland delivery partners: Scottish Development International (SE/SDI) (SDI being Scottish Enterprise's international delivery arm), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to deliver an evaluation of public sector inward investment support aiming to assess impacts, spillover benefits, what support worked well and, less well and to shape current support as well as future monitoring and evaluation. The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and Centre for Business Prosperity (CBP) at Aston University were commissioned by Scottish Government.


Survey and interviews with supported firms between 2018/19 and 2020/21 and a management information review over 6 years 2016/17 to 2021/22.


Public sector support was one of the most common considerations for investing in Scotland along with skills availability and support for developing skills; firms accessed multiple types of support with financial support and signposting/advice the most common; firms had high levels of satisfaction at 8.3 out of 10 with 89% of firms reporting support increased/safeguarded jobs and 73% expected to create new jobs over the next 3 years. 5,297 new jobs have been created and 5,863 jobs safeguarded as a result of support. Over 60% of firms generated wider impacts through knowledge and/or expertise transfer activities with Scottish suppliers, businesses and Scottish universities/colleges.


Facilitate business to business relations between supported inward investors and Scottish suppliers; collect more data on job quality and key business characteristics; improve future evaluation including maximising inclusion of supported firms and extending the evaluation to less successful investment projects.

Author Enterprise Research Centre
Published Year 2023
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Internationalisation
    Inward investment