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Interim evaluation of the Dumfries and Galloway Community Regeneration Fund
The Community Regeneration Fund aimed to rebuild confidence within local communities after the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak and to initiate lasting processes of community economic development in the region. The evaluation aimed to: provide a region-wide critical analysis of the Fund’s implementation; provide a comparison between the Fund’s delivery in eligible and non-eligible areas; review the delivery of the Fund’s procedures; analyse the Fund’s overall impact through the individual projects; identify good practice examples; and determine the demand for this type of project in the future.
The methodology consisted of: a desk based review; a postal survey of supported projects; case studies of assisted projects; face-to-face interviews with the current and previous Fund Co-ordinators and three agencies; telephone interviews with the Joint Officers Group (JOG); and consultations with two comparable programmes.
Notes that the Fund continues to fit well with local needs and priorities. Suggests that the Fund’s implementation was established quickly with confused initial stages, but was strengthened after Funding Round 2. The Fund is now fully committed. 96 projects are approved and the average award size is £18,454. The Fund supports a wide spread of project activity but has not wholly achieved the planned spatial grant allocation. To date, 35% of approved projects have reached financial completion. Reported initial outputs from assisted projects are impressive. Up to 78% of assisted projects are wholly additional and displacement effects are likely to be minimal. Finds the Fund provides a wide range of benefits for assisted groups and Fund agencies.
Suggests there is substantial support for a Phase II Fund. Recommends the operational processes of the Fund should be strengthened in a number of areas, including promotion, the application process, project appraisal and decision-making, financial administration, and project monitoring. Advises that the longer-term impact of the Fund could be strengthened by shifting the focus of the Fund, promoting project sustainability, and providing capacity building support.
Full Report (1 MB, doc)
|Theme/Sector||Local/community regeneration, Business infrastructure, Equity, Rural Development|