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Review of the South of Scotland Loan Scheme – final report

Summary

Aims

The South of Scotland Loan Scheme (SoSLS) aimed to deliver economic added value, by offering soft loans as part of a wider package of funding support for businesses identified as having job creation and growth potential. The evaluation aimed to identify the scheme’s impact to date and to inform decision-making for its future role and shape.

Methods

The methodology consisted of: inception and set-up; a desk-based review and analysis; a consultation programme; a company survey; a learning workshop and option development; and final reporting.

Findings

Notes that 26 applications for loans have been approved. Shows that SoSLS is unlikely to reach its revised targets based on current performance to date. Finds that SoSLS has had a slow start, but that recent performance has improved. Observes demand for SoSLS support has been increasing over the past six months and expects that demand will continue to rise with an anticipated reduction in alternative sources. Observes that current SE guidance suggests the wind-up of the SoSLS by 2008.

Recommendations

Recommends implementing the suggested improvements to the operation, delivery and management of the SoSLS. Suggests that the scheme should be continued after December 2008 and reviewed in two years to test whether there is a requirement for a legacy project. Recommends that if the two LECs are required to exit from the SoSLS as a branded SE product, then funds are transferred to a third-party organisation to continue its operation in the long-term. Concludes that the original forecast economic benefits are unrealistic and outlines new annual targets for the SoSLS.

Record metadata
Documents
Full Report (369 KB, pdf)
ConsultantEKOS Limited
Published year2006
Pages98
Document TypeEvaluation
Theme/SectorDebt investment/loans, Investment