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Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

SP Paper 594

EE/S3/11/R2

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125. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to set out the timetable it originally envisaged for these transfers and compares this with the actual rate of transfer, providing explanations where this differs.

126. The Committee considers that clarity of purpose is essential in ensuring that limited funds for regeneration at every level are utilised to best effect and is disappointed to find that clear definitions of local, regional and national regeneration do not appear to exist.

127. The Committee welcomes the commitment made by the Cabinet Secretary82 to revisit the definitions of what constitutes local, regional and national regeneration and urges him to find a way of articulating this to stakeholders and provide clarity on where responsibility lies for each.

128. The Committee notes the consensus that regeneration is as much about people as it is about the physical environment.

Skills

129. As the First Minister sets out in his Foreword to the Government Economic Strategy, “Scotland has real strength in the most vital factor for modern economies – the human capital offered by our greatest asset, Scotland’s people. We need to build on this strength and, importantly, make more of it in broadening Scotland’s comparative advantage in the global economy”.83

130. The provision of skills and training services has the potential to make a critical impact on whether Scotland is in a position to capitalise on opportunities for economic growth, particularly within new sectors such as renewable energy.

131. Under the reforms, the responsibilities for skills which formerly rested with the enterprise agencies were transferred to Skills Development Scotland (SDS), which was launched in 2008 as a merger of Careers Scotland, Scottish University for Industry along with the skills responsibilities formerly held by SE and HIE.

Rate of progress with reforms

132. The Committee received a number of submissions which suggested that the pace of change at SDS has been slow. The Federation of small businesses, in its written submission to the Committee said “much of the focus has been on re-structuring agency responsibilities, as opposed to thinking about engagement with the end user”. Damien Yeates emphasised the implications of structural change and argued that the output which had been achieved was “quite phenomenal”, but admitted that there was “a lot of room for improvement”.84

133. CBI Scotland’s written submission stated “our sense is that SDS is becoming more outward looking and improving” and welcomed SDS’s pro-active approach to involving CBI in its initiatives.85 Michael Levack recognised the task involved in establishing the new organisation but said “it is essential that we now get some momentum”.86

134. While the Committee recognises the difficult merger and burdensome restructuring process which SDS has undergone, it is disappointed to find that, some three and a half years after its inception, stakeholders remain frustrated by the pace of change.

Feedback from SDS’s customers

135. A founding principle of the establishment of SDS was that the agency should place the customer at the centre of services. The Committee’s focus was on whether the creation of a single agency had created greater clarity and simplicity for service users and strengthened Scotland’s position to reap the benefits from new economic opportunities – particularly in key sectors such as renewables.

136. The experiences of service users giving evidence to the Committee were mixed. Paul Sheerin, coming from the perspective of an account-managed company, said that the service he received is “good and clear” while Lorraine Hubbard, who had been involved in the establishment of a modern apprenticeship (MA) said that “there is a lot of clutter on the landscape” and criticised the lack of sector-specific specialisation. Paul Nelson felt that a result of the separation of provision for skills support had been “a degree of dysfunction, with people not working towards the same aims” and outlined the difficulties his firm faced with its efforts to establish an electric vehicle training academy in Scotland.87

137. Martin Hottass applauded the support provided by SDS for existing skill sets but said that it had been more difficult to access support and advice for Siemens’ new apprenticeship scheme for the wind industry. Lorraine Hubbard said that “the fragmented nature of the skills sector meant that we found it difficult to get someone to step up and say, "I do that." Different agencies are involved and everyone works within their own parameters” and “the difficulty is that no one has the lead”.88 Martin Hottass added “we want to be able to engage with one port of call”.89 Lorraine Hubbard summed up by saying “more focus on the customer and more customer interaction would help all the industries that are involved in the skills landscape”.90

138. Lorraine Hubbard elaborated on her experience and regretted the fact that SDS, while offering support, did not make her aware of other forms of support available – such as that from local authorities or from the Scottish Funding Council.91 Damien Yeates responded to her experience by saying “we should be doing an awful lot better” but emphasised that there is an onus on the industries to develop frameworks for skills support. He added that “we are heavily engaged with the sector skills councils and with industry in projecting ahead” and gave the Committee an assurance that resources would be targeted at future demand”.92

139. Paul Nelson said “we in the industry simply cannot sit day after day looking through huge Government websites, trying to find out who can help us”.93 That observation, allied with Lorraine Hubbard’s comment about “clutter on the landscape” and her observation that “there is no logical link from a Scottish Government website to direct people to where they need to go to get any kind of information about accessing skills”,94 serve to indicate that the effort to coordinate strategy at a national level has not been matched by user experience locally and regionally.

140. The local and regional experience is, perhaps, unsurprising given the Scottish skills landscape, which has been described by the Alliance Scotland (which represents the Sector Skills Councils) as “complex, with Government, public agencies, Sector Skills Councils, employer bodies, colleges, universities and training providers all involved in shaping, funding and delivering a range of learning opportunities for individuals and employers.” Alliance Scotland itself works with both enterprise agencies, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Government, and JobCentre Plus, as well as Scotland’s colleges, CoSLA, the STUC and private sector representative bodies.95

141. Despite the impressive array of activities in which Skills Development Scotland and its delivery partners have been engaged since 2008, it appears that the agency has not yet succeeded in its objective of placing the customer at the centre of its services.

142. The evidence received by the Committee reveals an unacceptable degree of clutter and confusion on the skills landscape and examples demonstrate that the provision of services is fragmented. This means that the apparent effort to ensure a joined-up approach at a national level is not always matched by user experiences locally and regionally. The Committee therefore recommends that the Scottish Government investigates what scope exists to simplify the delivery of publicly-funded skills services without undertaking further structural change at this time.

143. It is essential that the training requirements of businesses are anticipated yet, to date, this has not always been happening. As a national organisation, SDS must become more successful in utilising the labour market intelligence provided by the sector skills councils and through direct dialogue with industry, in order to map needs with provision on a local, regional and national basis.

Engagement with partners and stakeholders

144. In order to overcome the issues reported by those accessing skills services and support, witnesses emphasised the requirement for SDS to work in partnership with partners in provision – such as further education colleges, and with industry to gain a clear understanding of its needs.

145. Damien Yeates outlined the use SDS make of sector skills councils role as an interface between industry and government and described them as “our port of call in understanding industry needs”.96 Jacqui Hepburn described the activities undertaken by the sector skills councils and argued that it is not SDS’s role to provide a one-to-one service to businesses pointing out that “no one organisation could have a remit for dealing specifically and individually with each of the many thousands of employers that exist in Scotland”.97 Martin Kirkwood highlighted the joint skills committee between the Scottish Funding Council and SDS which “is one where we can exchange views across the table regarding employers' needs and how they can be met on the supply side”. 98

146. Damien Yeates described the work which had recently taken place within SDS to bring “information together, to understand where the gaps are and to identify where the scarce resource of public money can be placed to produce the best return”.99 He highlighted some new areas of work which have resulted from the reformed structures. The partnership action for continuing employment (PACE) programme, SDS’s relationship with Jobcentre Plus and partnership working with local authorities on local alignment of services, with which SDS has approximately 22 service-level agreements.100

147. Jacqui Hepburn praised, among other achievements, the £500,000 low-carbon fund, launched in partnership between SDS and the five sector skills councils which will “enable employers in Scotland to have the skills that they need in that area. That is a welcome development, and it will ensure that brokerage is available to companies so that they understand what skills and learning they need to develop in that new area”.101

148. In response to reports by some witnesses that SDS had failed to engage with them over their skills needs, Damien Yeates described the magnitude and breadth of services SDS is tasked with and emphasised the relatively short time which had elapsed since his appointment in July 2008.

149. Damien Yeates outlined a number of ways in which SDS seeks to engage with businesses and employers. He cited the direct employer helpline for companies employing 50 people or fewer, account management for large companies such as BT and over 100 skills investment advisers, deployed across the country.102

150. Damien Yeates went on to describe SDS’s engagement with the enterprise agenda: “hardly a day goes by when Skills Development Scotland is not in touch with Scottish Enterprise through the account-managed side of its business, through SDI on inward investments, or through early warnings about possible redundancies as a result of enterprise closures” and added “everything must align in support of sustainable economic growth”.103

151. The Committee recognise the efforts SDS is making to work with partners to deliver a joined-up service, it has received a range of evidence to suggest this is not always working well.

152. SDS must now rise to the challenge of working with partners and with industry to create a simple, one-stop, “no wrong door” advice service for businesses and organisations in need of support.

Clarity of leadership on the skills agenda

153. The view that there appears to be no clear leader on the skills agenda within Scotland arose from a number of written submissions received by the Committee.

154. Witnesses did state that this lack of clarity dated from before the reforms took place and was therefore was not as a result of the formation of SDS. A variation of experience across different sectors emerged and it was felt that there is some geographic variation in experiences of accessing support.104

155. Evidence from local authorities suggests that while the concept of combining the various agencies involved in careers development, learning and skills development is a good one and a single point of contact has been beneficial, the transition to SDS has not been smooth and there is a perceived diminution of resources and local profile.

156. Of the reforms, Laurence Howells argued that “The level of integration, the joint working and the effectiveness of the outcomes of our engagement with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are significantly better than before”. He cited a number of examples.105 Andrew Livingston pointed out that since the introduction of SDS, it was now only necessary for employers or colleges to contract with a single agency to deliver a national training programme, rather than with both HIE and SE as it was before the reforms.106

157. It was Damien Yeates’ view that SDS’s role was to “sit behind and create intelligent links through those forums or organisations that have the legitimate interests of business at heart”.107 The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth also argued that SDS’s profile was unimportant and what mattered was that those with a skills need were able to access support. He cited the increased numbers of take-up of Modern Apprenticeships and the protection of college places as evidence of SDS’s success.108

158. As a bottom-line, businesses and individuals need to know who to go to for skills support: it is therefore disappointing to find there remains a lack of clarity regarding who in Scotland leads on delivering Scotland’s skills strategy. While the Committee accepts that many partners are responsible for skills delivery we call on the Scottish Government to provide clarity to SDS on its expectations regarding the agency’s leadership and co-ordination role.

Re-skilling

159. Witnesses spoke of the necessity to transfer skills from established sectors into newer sectors such as wind, wave and tidal energy and pointed out that this up-skilling and cross-skilling comes with a price tag and support for older members of the workforce is provided at half the level of that for school leavers.109 Paul Sheerin expressed his concern that the ready supply of engineering skills his and similar companies had enjoyed due to the decline in industry in the West of Scotland, would fall off as the workforce aged.

160. Michael Levack pointed to the high success rate of adult apprenticeships and argued that “we will never address the skill shortage only through apprentices who are school leavers; we must be able to take adults and upskill them seriously through the adult apprenticeship model”.110

161. Lena Wilson said—

“One major attraction of the 28,000 jobs in offshore renewables is that we have many of the skills for that work today. For example, in Scotland's engineering base, many people would not need £50,000-worth of training to convert their skills to those that they would need to be an engineer in renewables. We are not starting from scratch. We are building on our already strong engineering base and it is a natural migration of skills. In absolute terms, it will not cost £50,000 to train each of those 28,000 people”.111

162. Great numbers of skilled personnel will be required to realise the opportunities offered by growth industries such as the renewables industry and it is essential that opportunities are not missed. Skills Development Scotland should therefore focus on delivering the Scottish Government’s skills strategy in such a way as to lower, as far as possible, the hurdles faced by potential employees wishing to participate in these new industries.

Are current resources adequate?

163. The focus of this inquiry has been on local economic development, but the Committee acknowledges SE and HIE also have important roles in the key sectors established by the last government and refined by the current Government. The Committee notes the positive development of Industry Advisory Boards over recent years - the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB), the Life Sciences Advisory Board (LiSAB) and the Scottish Food and Drinks Consortium – and their links to the Energy Advisory Board, VisitScotland and Universities Scotland. In the context of the overall resources required for the enterprise agencies, their leadership role in these key sectors should be noted.

164. Whilst not the focus of this inquiry, review of this area may commend itself to the successor committee. At this time it would be helpful for the Scottish Government to provide an update on the ongoing role of Industry Advisory Boards and the current / planned arrangements for each of its key GES sectors.

165. One notable consequence of the rationalisation of the enterprise network has been that the budgets and staff of HIE and SE have fallen: those have since been subject to further cuts within the context of wider public sector funding pressures. The Committee is keen to establish what impact these resource changes have had on the quality or effectiveness of the services delivered.

166. The scale of the fall in resources has been outlined by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, which noted in its written submission to the Committee that—

“when exceptional items such as capital acceleration are and additional provisions are included, Scottish Enterprise’s budget is now 16% lower than in 2007/08. The equivalent figure for Highlands and Islands Enterprise is 43%, which is similar to the worst case scenario for many public bodies over the next three or four years”.112

167. A number of views, from a variety of sources, have been presented to the Committee in terms of the impact of reduced resources on the services delivered by HIE and SE, the adequacy of current (and expected) funding, and what might be achieved with further resources.

Impact of change in resources on services

168. Lena Wilson, when appearing before the Committee, stated “At this stage, Scottish Enterprise’s work comes down to prioritising the absolute priorities”.113 Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that written submissions have been made to the Committee that express both satisfaction and concern about certain aspects of the impact that the reduction in resources has had on services in both the HIE and SE areas.

169. There is some evidence of a positive impact on the services. HIE stated that the rationalisation has helped it prioritise effectively, deploy its resources in a more strategic manner and, through “removal of the bureaucracy associated with servicing LEC Boards, has freed up senior management time to focus on delivering projects”.114 The Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS), meanwhile, noted that “there has been less intra-regional competition within the network and improved focus on added value”, adding that it has helped keep costs down and enabled SE to be more cost-effective, and led to improvement in the delivery of national projects. 115

170. It was also reported, for example by CBI Scotland116 and the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils Scotland117, that there was positive feedback from those firms that are account-managed.

171. However, the Committee has also been presented with a number of less favourable views of the impact of the rationalisation on the services that the agencies deliver. For example, while EDAS identified some positive impacts (as previously noted), it states that “the majority of feedback was negative” and that the changes have been “extremely disruptive to the delivery of local economic development”115. Additionally, CBI Scotland reported that some members “cite little or no contact at all with the enterprise networks”.116

172. Other criticisms were conveyed by Fusion Scotland Ltd, which stated “the service level as perceived in a quality sense has dropped substantially. The matrix of geographic and industry specialisation appears to be fractured”118 ; and by Orkney Islands Council, which observed that “the centralised policy and decision making process is slower”.119

173. Further observations were made by AROS, including that the removal of the LEC structure “has had a detrimental effect on the opportunities to develop business and communities in the Highlands and Islands”, and that “the reduction in funding does not allow for a general widespread approach to development and strengthening communities”, resulting in selected areas being targeted instead.120

174. It should, of course, be noted that it may still be too early to properly evaluate the impact of the post-2007 reforms overall, as recognised by John McLaren when he appeared before the Committee121 (the Cabinet Secretary suggested “four to five years” would be an appropriate point for a formal evaluation).122

175. The Committee is concerned that, while the rationalisation of resources has brought efficiencies and improved prioritisation to the agencies, there is some evidence that it has resulted in reduced service quality and fewer opportunities for development, keenly felt by business and other stakeholders. In particular, the removal of the LEC structure has been disruptive to the delivery of economic development in some areas.

Adequacy of current levels of funding

176. There is broad consensus that the current level of funding for economic development, including funding of HIE and SE, is not adequate. A number of views have been expressed and observations made, in both written submissions and in testimony by expert witnesses appearing before the Committee.

177. Dr Robert Crawford told the Committee: “If the Parliament, or Government of whatever colour, decides that those are the resources and vehicles that we should be directing, we had better realise that we will not achieve the growth rates that the Finns have achieved, and that we will not equalise our growth rates…with those that the other parts of the UK have achieved”.123 He also observed that “the fundamental problem is a failure of risk capital provision…it is restricting growth”.124

178. CBI Scotland, in its written submission to the Committee, states that “our members on the whole are of the view that the publicly-funded support currently on offer from the enterprise networks is of genuine assistance”, but that those members “did voice concern at the prospect that there may be further reductions to the budgets of the enterprise networks”.125

179. The Federation of Small Businesses has detected some concern about reductions in HIE personnel and budgets among its members, and about HIE’s ability to intervene at community level if current rationalisation continues126. Similarly, The Royal Society of Edinburgh is “very concerned that HIE will be hampered in its ability to continue to fulfil its broader remit given that its grant-in-aid has reduced by 43% since 2007/08”.127

180. In the SE area, Fife Council stated “the downside of the rationalisation of the enterprise network is that there are far fewer Scottish Enterprise resources (both people and budget) to support economic development in Fife than when Scottish Enterprise Fife existed”.128

181. Professor Donald MacRae, when he appeared before the Committee, observed that: “Scottish Enterprise’s budget should be bigger than it is at the moment. I realise that adjustment must be made among all the competing items in the Scottish Government’s budget, but a good case can be made for increasing the budget from the current level”.129 At the same session, Steve Thomson raised his concern as to whether funding would be sufficient for HIE to capitalise on renewable energy opportunities - “we may not be able to meet and to answer the demands of companies such as BiFab...Renewable energy is the biggest opportunity that we have had in the past three or four decades. We should be careful not to let it slip simply because there is insufficient funding and commitment to support it”.130

182. While the funding with regard to Business Gateway and local regeneration is covered separately within this report, the following observations are worth highlighting to give an indication of the perceived adequacy of other aspects of economic development funding.

183. Fusion Scotland Ltd stated that the Business Gateway funding transferred from HIE to Highland Council “is totally inadequate for the job”.131 Similarly, Falkirk Council observed “the significant reduction in the resources available nationally to support economic development has not been matched with a commensurate increase at local level”.132 West Lothian Council has described that as “one of the unintended consequences of the review”.133

184. Aberdeenshire Council regards the regeneration funding it was allocated in 2008/09 and 2009/10 (£65k and £432k, respectively) as “substantially less than expected”. Additionally, “in times of recession there is a need to undertake economic regeneration activity to build for the future and with the constraints that have been around this has not been possible”.134

185. Glasgow City Council has commented that the rationalisation has placed a “severe burden on the Council to ensure the continued delivery of services to businesses” in the areas of training and employability, while some SE-led “specialism” projects” such as life sciences, “have been deleted as they no longer meet SE’s strategic goals or have been superseded by other initiatives”.135

186. Looking forward, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce argued that “funding for enterprise support is critical to recovery and must be maintained”.136

What could be achieved with more resources?

187. Despite the current and future context of constraints on public sector spending, and to some extent in response to the related broader economic problems, there have been suggestions that the Scottish Government should seek to invest more resources in economic development. A number of written submissions have commented on this, and the Committee has also sought the views of expert witnesses.

188. Professor Donald MacRae told the Committee: “There are about 22,000 businesses in Scotland with 10 or more employees. Scottish Enterprise is actively involved with about half of those so, again, that is impressive. Could it be involved with more? Yes, but it would require more funding”.137 That view was supported by Crawford Gillies, who added “we have clear sector strategies and if we could spend more we could accelerate their implementation. In the renewable sector…we could do a lot more on biomass, tidal and clean technology. We could accelerate initiatives in life sciences and the entry into emerging countries such as India and China, and we could increase internationalisation”.138

189. Lena Wilson provided the Committee with some detail as to what SE had not invested: “This year, we had between £50 million and £60 million of actual opportunities, either from bids from our own operational units or from our partners, that we did not support because of this year’s allocation”.139

190. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce called for “funding to invest in success”,140 while Bill Bryan submitted that there is a need for “long term patient money to be invested in our fledgling companies so that they can keep on growing here”.141

191. Dr Robert Crawford stated his view that SE’s investment of £32 million in 106 of Scotland’s most promising companies, within a total of £100m invested in those, constitutes “a rounding error”.142 He outlined a case for more risk capital to be made available via an investment bank, which is addressed further in the part of this report that concerns the Scottish Investment Bank. Professor Donald MacRae also expressed his concern that there is not enough risk capital being invested within Scotland, adding that the Scottish Investment Bank is an attempt to address this.143

192. Steve Thomson, appearing before the Committee, suggested “we should move towards much more proactive investment. However, that runs contrary to the current situation on funding”.144

193. The Committee recognises the public sector funding constraints that will continue to apply over coming years. However, it urges the Scottish Government to ensure that no further cuts are applied that would impact on the front-line delivery of economic development services. The Committee also urges the Scottish Government to ensure that this policy also applies to the other parties involved in the delivery of these services, including local authorities.145

194. The Committee encourages the Scottish Government to seek and make available additional funds for investment in risk capital - in particular to capitalise on key emerging opportunities arising in areas such as renewables. The Committee is strongly of the view that this should not be at the expense of existing services.

First principles analysis

The shape of the agencies

Relationship to Government

195. A range of contributors to the inquiry expressed views on the relationship between the development agencies and Government. The importance of ensuring the agencies’ alignment with national strategy was stressed at the same time as the need for an arms-length relationship from Government being essential to allow necessary risk taking and innovation.

196. In its written submission West Lothian Council stated: “The basic model of a clear national economic framework and vision, and strong and focused national agencies with local delivery via local authority based partnerships is sound”.146 The need for a strategic focus led by a national development agency was supported by The Royal Society of Scotland’s submission, which said “SE needs to be independent, flexible and with the capacity for decisive action. It must not be required by Government to meet unrealistically challenging short term objectives, or be required to take on extraneous activities”.147

197. Scottish Engineering addressed the difficult question of unifying the existing agencies: “A possible way to create more efficiency and reduce cost… could be to bring the Highlands and Islands Enterprise under the direct control of Scottish Enterprise. We recognise that the HIE has a broader social as well as economic remit. This however does not create a need for a separate board and a whole tranche of executive officers, many of whom duplicate the efforts of SE”.148 However, the particular proposals made there would be countered by Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce who have stressed the importance of the HIE board being representative of the different parts of the HIE region. 149

198. Professor Danson commented that part of the reason for having a development agency is that it has a degree of independence. “A major rationale is that the agency is semi-autonomous—it is arm's length from Government. There were times in the late 1980s when that appeared to be under threat. That would have been unfortunate, because there are good reasons for development agencies to be arm's length. Overall strategy can be set by Government or the Parliament, leaving the agency to make difficult day-to-day decisions and so on.” He cautioned on the relationship being too close: “If we start eroding that distance, we lose the benefit of having a separate development agency and we might just as well take it into central Government as the Welsh Assembly Government did, although that has not been an overwhelming success”. 150

199. John McLaren told the Committee: “It is interesting to consider what has happened in Wales since the enterprise agency was taken back in-house and to see how that has effected where Wales invests in money and what its approach has been. It is too early to say whether that initiative has been a success”.151 However, the SCDI stated that it “understands that the decision to bring the Welsh Development Agency within the Welsh Assembly Government has not created the more joined-up and streamlined services for businesses which was the idea behind the new model”. 152

200. The Committee recognises the tension which exists between allowing autonomous delivery of enterprise support, which allows innovation and risk-taking while at the same ensuring the alignment of the various delivery agencies behind a core set of aims.

Role in promoting leadership

201. The development agencies have an important role to play in providing and promoting strategic leadership. In oral evidence to the Committee Scottish Enterprise argued that innovation was a well-recognised driver of progress, the success of which could be seen in Scandinavia. On the other hand, Crawford Gillies argued “that the real enablers of their growth have been the political will of, and support from, their national Governments and the collaboration between all public agencies behind a single strategy and approach”.153 Progress has been achieved here but more remains to be done. He suggested: “the question is this: how can we all show the leadership and ambition to work together increasingly and collectively to seek the necessary levels of investment across the public and private sectors to achieve greater economic growth? We have not stimulated enough discussion on that front and it needs to be considered if we are really to transform Scotland's economy further”.154

202. The leadership role which parties outside the public sector have to play was explored. Colin Borland stated: “in looking at the future role of the enterprise networks, we should bear in mind the large number of private sector organisations that are already geared up to provide support across Scotland and the part that they can play in that respect”.155 CBI Scotland said in its written submission “it should not be left simply to the enterprise networks to improve Scotland’s economic performance...wider devolved public policy – not least on terms of infrastructure, connectivity, skills, planning, regulation and public procurement...has a significant role to play”.156

203. In the Highlands and Islands, the Committee heard of the value of having a regionally based decision making body with a good understanding of local circumstances. Highland Council in oral evidence said “we have an organisation that has been able to focus on and understand Highlands and Islands issues, has recognised the significant differences between the Highlands and Islands and other parts of Scotland, and has been able to be proactive and responsive in that respect”.157

204. The Committee recognises the importance of the agencies providing leadership in delivering the aims of the Government Economic Strategy. In particular HIE is applauded for its pro-active leadership on regional matters.

205. Speaking more generally, John McLaren said “strategic leadership is important in such a body, especially when it is semi-autonomous, but that has to go hand in hand with the Government's strategic leadership in the area of the economy. They have to be synchronised to be most effective. There is probably a lack of balance there”.158

206. The Committee heard concerns about less strategic leadership from the enterprise agencies and, looking forward, the Committee supports the desirability of SE and HIE boards to show strategic leadership as well as operational leadership.

Strategic development

207. The Committee also wished to explore the role of the enterprise agencies in taking forward major strategic priorities such as broadband and renewable energy, particularly within the context of declining resources.

208. On behalf of SE, Crawford Gillies told the Committee: “We have clear sector strategies and if we could spend more we could accelerate their implementation. In the renewables sector, there is currently a focus on offshore wind, but we could do a lot more on biomass, tidal and clean technology”.159

209. Alex Paterson stated of HIE that “we do not want to dilute our ambition. We simply need to find other sources of investment”.160 He referred the Committee to a previous announcement on HIE’s success in securing superfast broadband funding from the UK Government. Notwithstanding this achievement, Steve Thomson said that “I am surprised by the low level of action on the ground. Even the UK broadband development funding to extend the points of presence to give high-speed fibre connections is a relatively small investment in the region of £10 million or £15 million”.161

210. In support of this kind of investment Donald MacRae said: “my view that the prime function of Scottish Enterprise should be to help create more businesses, especially high-growth businesses. Secondly, we need to concentrate on infrastructure. I am not just talking about roads, bridges and air links, but about broadband and so on. Those are two crucial areas on which we need to concentrate. There is a very good argument for so-called intervention on broadband and the expenditure of public monies on solving that issue”.162

211. The Royal Society of Edinburgh in its written submission expressed caution regarding expectations for large, strategic, interventions: “Some initiatives will take a decade or more to reach fruition. SE must be given license to support developments that will be the long term core of strong and sustainable economic activity”.163

212. The Committee recognises the enterprise agencies’ stated commitments to major strategic initiatives, notably broadband and renewable energy and notes the claims by both agencies that they would achieve more in these areas with additional resources.

213. The Committee recognises, therefore, the risk that Scotland may not be in a position to capture the all of the opportunities on offer in the area of renewable energy, given the scale of the opportunity and the effort required to realise it.

Governance and Accountability

214. The reforms brought with them a series of new governance relationships. As set out earlier in this report, the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement in September 2007 included that there would be a strategic forum for enterprise and that “In order to retain as much of the local expertise that currently exists in the LEC Boards as possible, both Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise will establish business led regional advisory boards”.164

215. During oral evidence, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth told the Committee that—

“Our overall aim was to encourage and facilitate partnership and collaboration among key players who had a contribution to make towards achieving the Government’s purpose”.165

216. Throughout this inquiry, the Committee has heard evidence of where collaboration is working well along with some evidence where there is an absence of a joined up approach.

217. A range of contributors to the inquiry have commented on the importance of the alignment of enterprise support services to avoid gaps in services or areas of overlap, to attempt to provide uniform services nationally and to ensure that scarce resources are directed to best effect.

218. For example, Business Enterprise Scotland, in its written submission, said—

“there is no real evidence of clear alignment between the various agencies involved in supporting economic recovery There are undoubtedly some good local examples of agencies working together, but there is no consistent regional or local model to ensure co-ordination and as a result there appears to be wildly varying experiences across Scotland”.166

219. A written submission from the Economic Development Association (EDAS) reported “a lack of consistency from area to area in how stakeholders are brought together and co-operate operationally”,167 and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said that there was “some way to go to ensure all agencies are working together effectively”.168

220. With the aim of delivering a whole-system approach and aligning services across the public and private sector, a plethora of forums, frameworks, advisory boards and working groups have arisen. Many of these receive a mention elsewhere in this report and include the strategic forum, a range of industry advisory groups, the Scottish Local Authority Economic Development Group (SLAED), Business Enterprise Scotland (BES) (a representative group for enterprise trusts and other bodies involved in delivering local economic development services such as Business Gateway), the Business Gateway Board, the Highland Economic Forum, several Regional Advisory Boards (RABs) and the local authority economic development framework.

Local Authority led initiatives

221. Local authorities have set up an impressive array of cross boundary initiatives, which are detailed in written evidence from CoSLA and some of the local authorities’ written submissions.

222. Business Enterprise Scotland, in its written submission, reported that, despite the establishment of partnership forums in many Local Authority areas, “there is no consistent model and no agreed mechanism for such bodies feeding into the development of national strategy. While undoubtedly the former LEC network was expensive to maintain and less effective than it should have been, the subsequent changes have failed to address any of these important structural issues”.169

223. Of the various forums and working groups which had been established since the reforms, Fife Council’s written submission stated “there is a need to review their remits and memberships to ensure the most effective use of private and public sector time invested in them”. It added “A model that represents both the Regional Advisory Board and local economic partnerships is worth further investigation to ascertain if it might provide more effective linkages between local, regional, national and international delivery”.170

224. In its written submission to the Committee, Aberdeenshire Council stressed the importance of partnership working—

“there is a need that strong partnerships of national and local agencies/authorities are the best delivery partners. Bringing agencies together is undoubtedly beneficial. With a population in Scotland of some 5m it is believed that a single economic strategy covering the whole country and all agencies would be beneficial. There is a need to act together and services should not be delivered in isolation by one agency against another”.171

225. The Committee applauds the efforts made by local authorities to work together to align services but regrets that a consistent approach to local engagement and partnership working has not been achieved in all parts of Scotland.

The Strategic Forum

226. The Strategic Forum is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and was established “to secure better and closer working between the agencies that have a shared responsibility to work with the Government to achieve our objectives for the Scottish economy”.172 The Forum is convened by Ministers on a quarterly basis and brings together the Chairs and Chief Executives of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland to provide leadership and deliver collaborative working.

227. Crawford Gillies, during oral evidence, said that “more alignment of partners” was needed with “the collaboration between all public agencies behind a single strategy and approach”. He pointed to the progress which had been made in developing joint plans for key sectors such as food and drink and renewables but said that more collective action was required in order to transform Scotland’s economy further. 173

228. Among respondents to the inquiry, the Strategic Forum appeared to have a low profile. EDAS, following consultation with its members, reported that “the opinions of the Strategic Forum were far from complimentary. Many were completely unaware of the forum and any activities or discussions that came out of it”.174 This lack of awareness was echoed time and time again in written evidence to the Committee.

229. When questioned over the difficulties Siemens had encountered accessing support for its wind farm apprenticeship, the Cabinet Secretary said that “if there are examples of a disjointed approach, I will be concerned about them and want them to be resolved. We have the mechanisms in place to do that through the strategic forum”.175

230. The Cabinet Secretary said of the Strategic Forum: “the purpose of that gathering is to take stock and to challenge where we are in implementation of the enterprise network reforms”.176

231. In our view, the Strategic Forum lacks visibility and its contribution to alignment of services is unclear.

Regional advisory boards

232. The Cabinet Secretary envisaged that Regional Advisory Boards would provide a link between local, regional and national delivery. Their role is described by Scottish Enterprise as to “ensure the private sector and key stakeholders in specific regions have an influential role in our strategy. They are regionally-based boards advisingus on the best way to maximise the contribution of each region to Scotland’s economic growth”.177

233. Written submissions to the Committee indicate that there is little awareness of the RABs outside of their participants and the agencies with Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future a notable exception. EDAS’s submission stated of RABs that “members either did not know who they were or thought that they had little or no impact – mere talking shops that are aloof, redundant and disconnected”.178

234. Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF), which is the RAB for NE Scotland, describes itself as “an excellent cross section of business interests as well as the designated representatives from the relevant Public bodies” and claimed it was a “true private/public sector partnership”.179

235. In its written submission the Scottish Enterprise East Regional Advisory Board (RAB) said that from its outset: “the East RAB has been about developing a strategic agenda looking mainly, although not exclusively, at SE’s Key Sectors. Each meeting has focussed on one Key Sector looking at it from a national and regional perspective”.180 The RAB cited “detailed discussions being held about SE’s approach.." and that as its role is “advisory and not about governance means that members are freed up to provide impartial advice and thereby greater value to SE’s work.”

236. Of the Highlands and Islands, where Local Panels were set up, Steve Thomson said: “in the past couple of years, we have taken various measures to try to resolve the local connection issue. Our local panels, of which I have attended quite a few meetings, have become good forums for businesses to discuss what they think of HIE and what they see as major issues. Most of the sessions that I have attended have been animated and have had a good flow of views. The partnership between the two sides has been strong”.181

237. The Committee wished to explore whether the removal of LECs and the introduction of RABs had led to a dilution or removal of accountability for decision making at local and regional levels. RABs have no formal decision-making or approval powers but exist to provide local connections and to advise SE on local issues. Lena Wilson confirmed that “accountability for any decision that Scottish Enterprise takes based on the advice of a regional advisory board rests with Scottish Enterprise”.182

238. Little hard evidence exists to demonstrate that RABs are effective in providing a link between local, regional and national needs and services or that they are capable of smoothing out regional variations in service delivery.

239. Issues had arisen over a RAB’s role in adopting prominent campaigning positions on local issues, which begged the general question of how members of the public could hold it to account for adopting a certain standpoint. Lena Wilson argued that accountability for local decisions lay with local councils.183

240. The Cabinet Secretary was clear that RABs are not agents or representatives of Scottish Enterprise, but represent the collective views of members. He added that accountability for financial decisions lay with the accountable officers in the enterprise agencies and councils, while the stance taken by a RAB was a matter for the RAB.184

241. The Committee has concerns over the accountability of the RABs, recognising that they can play an important role in influencing and decision-making yet, in contrast to the LECs, appear not to be accountable to the public, to the Parliament, nor to local or national government. There are also some concerns over the extent to which SE’s Board reflects the regional diversity of the whole SE area.

HIE structures for joint working

242. HIE states in its written submission that “a component of the HIE Board’s strategic role fulfils the function undertaken by RABs. In addition, HIE has set up Local Area Panels for business and community engagement right across the area”.185 The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that he had approved this approach as it was “the most effective way for Highlands and Islands Enterprise to pursue that distinctive part of its remit, which I made clear in 2007 the Government had no intention of interrupting”.186

243. The Highland Economic Forum was established by the Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise as a means for both organisations to engage with the Highland business community following the reforms. Fusion Scotland Ltd, representing businesses across rural Scotland, said of this forum “effectiveness has yet to be experienced” and it “is run in a bureaucratic format”.187

244. Each HIE area team has at least one Local Area Panel. Panel members are invited to register on a Highlands & Islands area wide Access Panel which serves as a reference database which participates in regular survey work by HIE. Surveys of the Access Panel are submitted to the HIE Management Team and Board to consider the views expressed by participants in relation to their aspirations for their businesses and organisations and gather intelligence on issues of concern to the local business community. Additionally HIE Chair and Board members take part in a series of Business and Stakeholder engagement events, with individual Board members now allocated Area/Regional geographic responsibilities as part of the engagement process.

The enterprise agency boards

245. In relation to SE’s board, Crawford Gillies said: “I stress the board's strength and independence. It is a strong board, comprising members who have significant international and local business experience, as well as members with a broad range of other experience, from academia to trade unions”.188 Emphasising his experience with the private sector Professor MacRae, who is a former member of SE’s board, said “I assure members that one of the most positive aspects of the development agencies—although I have not been involved with HIE to the same extent as Scottish Enterprise—is that they operate to a very high governance standard and that challenge takes place frequently and continually”.189

246. Professor Danson commented on the enterprise agencies’ governance arrangements: “The other side of governance is about who is doing the governing. The RDAs in England were established with the involvement of trade unions and other social partners, and that has never automatically been the case in Scotland, either at the national level or in the local enterprise companies when they were around. That was a failure to make full use of the development agencies and to ensure that they were embedded into the regional community at the Scottish level or the lower levels”.190

247. A more complex set of governance arrangements exists since the reforms and a lack of clarity and understanding has arisen as a result.

248. The Committee observes that the range of forums and working groups that have arisen at the local and regional level to align services, promote joint initiatives and iron out geographical differences in the enterprise services that are available have had limited success.

249. This has led, in some cases, to a lack of awareness and engagement since the post 2007 reforms. Whether this lack is one of perception or experience matters little to those confused and seeking leadership from the new governance processes.

250. The evidence on the skills development agenda reflected the same issues of clutter and absence of clarity over leadership.

251. A good deal more progress on structures is required to ensure that scarce resources are aligned in order to make the biggest possible impact on the economy.

Do the activities of the enterprise network impact meaningfully on the economy?

252. As part of its inquiry, the Committee explored the evidence available on the impact of the enterprise network. Committee members were keen to establish whether the activities of the enterprise network have resulted in a net additional impact on the Scottish economy i.e. economic output over and above what would have been achieved in the absence of any intervention.

253. While recognising that measuring the impact of economic development activities is a complex exercise, the Committee wanted reassurance that the enterprise network is not simply “picking winners” but that it is achieving different outcomes for the Scottish economy than would otherwise be the case.

254. In written evidence to the Committee, SE described their approach to measuring the impact of their activities—

“To understand our impacts we carry out an ongoing programme of evaluation and appraisal to measure our contribution to National Performance Framework measures such as GVA, employment and R&D expenditure. This allows us to assess our return on investment”.191

255. SE highlighted that, to ensure best practice, evaluations are undertaken by independent consultants using “an agreed, robust and consistent methodology that follows HM Treasury Green Book principles” and that “Scottish Government economists are included on the steering panel of major evaluations”.192

256. In evidence to the Committee as part of the Budget Strategy Phase 2011-12, and in evidence to the current inquiry, reference was made on a number of occasions to the impact figures published in SE’s 2010-13 Business Plan.193 194 195 This document described SE’s impact as follows—

“A high level assessment of the activities and outcomes set out in this Business Plan has indicated that for every £1 we spend in 2010/11 we will generate an additional £8.80 in economic impact for Scotland. This will represent an additional £2 billion for Scotland’s economy by 2020”.196

257. HIE did not quote any equivalent figures relating to its overall impact, but did describe in general terms its approach to measuring impact. Alex Paterson cited reference to macroeconomic indicators and evaluations of specific interventions as the means by which impact is assessed at HIE.197 In written evidence to the Committee, HIE also referred to independent research which had been commissioned “to quantify the anticipated additional economic impact each of the transformational investments supported by HIE will generate in 2017”.198

258. The agencies themselves attached some caution to the impact assessment figures. While referring to the impact evidence as “robust evidence…which has been validated independently”, Lena Wilson commented that “If the ratio for the return on investment turns out to be 1:7, not 1:8, that is still a large magnitude. Even if there is a margin of error, the ratio is still significant”.199 She also commented that—

“There are many opinions on the matter, and everyone is entitled to an opinion. However, I believe that we have strong and robust evidence that we would be delighted to have challenged. So far, however, no one has been able to come up with an alternative model”.200

259. The Cabinet Secretary, when questioned on the reported impact of the enterprise agencies, pointed towards the more extensive external verification of Scottish Enterprise’s impact assessment.201

260. Other witnesses expressed stronger criticisms of the evidence in relation to impact. In particular, John McLaren highlighted the apparent contradiction between SE’s assessment of impact and its declining budget—

“I think that Scottish Enterprise currently claims a cost benefit ratio of 8.8. I would take that with more than a pinch of salt; such evaluations are usually done on the basis of surveys… They are making heroic assumptions and there are fundamental flaws in a lot of these surveys, some of which I have carried out myself, on the positive side of getting a good result. If the ratio was 8.8, you should be considering vastly expanding how much Scottish Enterprise gets, but it is not”.202

261. However, those who were critical of the evidence base also acknowledged the difficulties of producing reliable estimates. Professor Danson commented—

“Even with all that uncertainty, in evaluating or looking at the development agencies, we have the counterfactual question of what would have happened in their absence. Would the Scottish economy have grown less quickly? Rather than look for direct outcomes from what development agencies have done, we need to second-guess that or have an idea of what would have happened if the agencies had not been there and to consider whether we have good benchmarks elsewhere. Again, that is problematic for data reasons and so forth”.203

262. On the other hand, Dr Robert Crawford questioned whether it was realistic to expect the enterprise agencies to be having a transformational impact, commenting—

“…is what the enterprise agencies are doing going to make any material difference? I am pretty sure that it will not, but that does not mean that I think that they are doing a bad job. I do not. They are doing a good job, but we need to be asking a different set of questions”.204

263. Dr Crawford also observed:

“The question is then whether we should examine how we are using the resources and ask whether there are better ways of using them. It is not that how we are using them is wrong or that they are badly managed; they are not. Nevertheless, it is my view that there must be a better way of using them if we are facing a continuing decline in real resources over the cycle”. He suggested that Scotland has not asked itself a question that had been asked in Finland and Singapore: “ “What is the size of the challenge that we face and how do we use scarce resources to approximate to that challenge?” 205

264. While the Committee acknowledges the efforts of the enterprise agencies to measure and report on impact, it also notes the concerns highlighted in relation to impact assessment and would welcome greater clarity on the methodologies employed and how or whether such evidence influences spending decisions.

Does a better alternative model of delivery exist?

265. As part of the ‘More fundamental, first principles’ aspect of this inquiry, the Committee sought evidence as to whether the Scottish Government’s economic aims could be achieved in a different way, possibly drawing on examples outwith Scotland. Additionally, the Committee sought evidence as to the desirability of a single agency or alternative structure with shared services, or whether the current situation of a single economic strategy and the account management model is suitable.

Adequacy of the account management model

266. Account management involves the provision of tailored support by HIE or SE to businesses that have growth potential. At present, Business Gateway is intended to both provide support to those organisations that do not meet the criteria for acceptance into account management, and to act as a pipeline of organisations into account management on demonstrating that they meet those criteria.

267. When considering whether the existing model, based on the post-2007 reforms, is adequate for Scotland today, it is important to note that no formal evaluation of those reforms has taken place at this point. John McLaren, appearing before the Committee, stated “it is too early to evaluate whether the process has been successful”.206 The Cabinet Secretary suggested, on being asked, that a formal evaluation would be appropriate “four to five years” after implementation.207

268. It is also noted the reforms were not designed with the recession and subsequent tightening of public sector funds in mind. As the Cabinet Secretary told the Committee, “when we undertook the reforms, the economy was buoyant…within 12 months, things were fundamentally different. I assure the Committee that we did not have that in mind at the time”. 208

269. Falkirk Council has identified that the reforms made since 2007 have “improved access to services for business under the Business Gateway…and in their connections with the account management services of Scottish Enterprise”. 209

270. North Ayrshire Council observed that the account management model has worked well “in terms of supporting major employers”,210 while Outdoor Capital UK Ltd noted that “account managed businesses are generally more than satisfied with the service and support”.211

271. The eligibility criteria for acceptance into account management have been the subject of a number of observations. The Federation of Small Businesses observed that the “model can be regarded as an elite club, well beyond the reach of most businesses”, and that “growing businesses are frustrated with, and feel under-valued by, the strict criteria”. 212 East Lothian Council, meanwhile, stated that “More flexibility in the application of SE account management criteria would help local growing businesses survive in the current economic climate”. 213

272. A further example of comment on the eligibility criteria was included in submissions by Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce: “SE is charged with supporting companies with turnovers in excess of £1m or companies which can demonstrate very rapid growth where turnovers will reach in excess of £1m. For most SMEs, this is not the real world”.214 Similarly, Orkney Islands Council observed that the model “is not supportive of the majority business base which exists in many remote areas of the H&I, where there exist relatively high numbers of small and micro businesses”, 215 while Jansvans observed that “in remote rural areas…we feel the very restrictive definition on eligibility adopted by HIE is stifling business development”.216

273. A more positive attitude outlook on the issues raised above was put forward by EDAS, which reported that some members suggested extending account management to the Business Gateway network, 217 and the Federation of Small Businesses, which suggested that “certain services offered to the elite group might benefit the wider economy during difficult economic circumstances”.218

274. The Committee accepts that the account management model appears to work well for those involved, particularly major employers. However, it has concerns that, within this model, businesses that do not meet account management criteria but who are looking for support may be overlooked.

275. Evidence suggests that the chain of command in Scottish Enterprise can delay decision-making while the rigidity of eligibility criteria prevents a flexible approach to meeting the needs of businesses and communities. Consideration should be given by Scottish Enterprise to devolving greater responsibility for the acceptance of businesses into the account management pipeline to local staff working directly with businesses.

Arguments against restructuring

276. A number of arguments have been put forward against further reform at this stage. EDAS, for example, stated that “now is not the time for another government restructuring. Perhaps there are better models out there but precious energy and resources would be wasted in yet more structural change which most likely would damage economic recovery”.219

277. A similar argument was made by Fife Council: “Further restructuring would potentially compromise the ongoing joint working that has survived and therefore a period of stabilisation would be welcome to reinforce and strengthen the relationships that underpin this”.220

278. Colin Borland said that FSB would not favour further restructuring: “I do not think that there is a case for major structural reform or for ripping things up and starting again—precisely the opposite, given some of the difficulties that we have experienced during the transition period”.221

279. Garry Clark agreed, stating—

“businesses are frustrated by the way in which, not only in the enterprise networks but in the education system and all sorts of other areas, the rule book is torn up every two, three, four, five or six years and we start again from scratch. I am not saying that we should not look at the success of the enterprise networks, but I think that this is a difficult—and perhaps atypical—time to do so. Business would certainly not welcome the wholesale changing of things every three or four years. Instead, we need to look at how we can evolve and improve the current system and plug any gaps in it to ensure that businesses receive the support that they need.”222

280. The Committee recognises that the enterprise networks have been subject to significant change in recent years and the genuine concern over the disruption that further significant structural reform at this time might bring. The Committee therefore does not recommend that fundamental structural reform should be on the agenda at this time but that other reforms may deliver benefits to Scotland’s economy.

Models of delivery outside Scotland

281. A number of written submissions included observations on lessons that could be learned from economic development arrangements outside Scotland, and further comments were provided by some of the expert witnesses who appeared before the Committee.

282. Dr Robert Crawford took a different approach to those who pointed to particular countries or agencies. He suggested that there were questions that have been asked elsewhere that should be asked in Scotland, specifically “What is the size of the challenge that we face and how do we use scarce resources to approximate to that challenge?”223

283. Similarly, John McLaren told the Committee: “We should be looking at what is appropriate and good for Scotland, or parts of it, rather than looking for models elsewhere, because there are not any. However, we can look for best practice elsewhere”.224

284. Crawford Gillies told the Committee that, to have a transformational effect, “perhaps the biggest lesson we can learn is from our Scandinavian neighbours. Countries such as Finland have been able to transform their economies with a heavy focus on innovation”.225

285. Professor Mike Danson also cited examples covering Scandinavia, while recognising the issues raised by Robert Crawford and John McLaren when he observed: “Everywhere is different. Enterprise Ireland has had certain tax regimes and so on. You could also look at Finland and Sweden, which have been innovative in innovation. They disaggregated the regional development agency into different parts and gave them lots of autonomy, and they have been highly successful in supporting innovation and research and development”.226

286. A further Scandinavian example was provided by Falkirk Council, which suggested the Committee should investigate the success of Innovation Norway in attracting inward investment and supporting indigenous SMEs.227

287. Observations were made with regard to the economies closer to Scotland such as Ireland and Wales. Jansvans Ltd observed that “the role undertaken by Údarás na Gaeltachta in Ireland provides a useful model for HIE to adopt, as it has a focused and concentrated support on rural communities”.228 A similar point was made by Stòras Uibhist. 229

288. The Federation of Small Businesses identified the Welsh Assembly’s ‘Flexible Support for Business’ scheme, as “the sort of one-to-one business development support which would plug the gaps in support in Scotland”.230

289. Fife Council, 231 and North Ayrshire Council,232 raised the IMD World Competitiveness Index, a country competitiveness methodology used by Ireland and Australia to drive their competitiveness agendas. Fife Council informed the Committee in its submission that: “The IMD Competitiveness Index assesses not just economic performance but also government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure, all areas of considerable focus for both public and private sector in Scotland.” The Council also suggested that an annual business survey should be undertaken on this basis, and the findings used to prioritise activities and resources – “this would provide a transparent and measurable means of prioritisation, relevant to all Scottish businesses and the economic network including local authority delivery”.

290. The Committee recognises that there are lessons for economic development that may be taken from elsewhere. However, the Committee believes that it is essential that the Scottish Government re-assesses the nature and scale of its ambitions before seeking practices to import to Scotland.

A single strategic agency for delivery of renewables support

291. The question arose of whether Scotland’s numerous and diverse contributors to the development of renewable technologies would be served well by a single, coordinating agency. Such an agency might have the advantage of simplifying and streamlining the delivery of advice and support to businesses in this field and, potentially, to maximise Scotland’s achievements in this area.

292. The Cabinet Secretary felt that existing structures were sufficient in this regard and commended the recent renewable finance conference, the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, the Scottish European Green Energy Centre and the government’s low carbon strategy as examples of joined op working in this area.233

293. Looking forward, it is vital that both SE and HIE need to have a single minded focus on the energy sector, with Scottish Development International fully aligned for attracting global activity in this area, as seen in the Locate in Scotland electronics era.

Case for a single agency

294. Strong arguments have been made to the Committee on the desirability or otherwise of a single enterprise agency for Scotland. The argument against this has largely been founded on the particular circumstances of the Highlands and Islands, which are partly reflected by HIE’s additional, ‘strengthening communities’ remit.

295. East Lothian Council was not alone in calling for an examination “of the plethora of national bodies involved to some extent in delivery and development of economic development interventions”, citing the Scottish Government, SE, HIE, SDI, VisitScotland, Department for Work and Pensions, and more specialised bodies such as Scotland Land of Food & Drink, and EventScotland.234

296. Business Enterprise Scotland observed that “there is no real evidence of clear alignment between the various agencies involved in supporting economic recovery. There are undoubtedly some good local examples of agencies working together, but there is no consistent regional or local model to ensure co-ordination and as a result there appears to be wildly varying experiences across Scotland”. 235

297. Paul Nelson provided the Committee with an individual business perspective on dealing with the existing bodies: “At our end we would prefer to deal with one person or a small group of people who can deliver all the services…I have neither the ability nor the time to sit and identify every Government agency that might be able to help me”.236 It is notable that this comment extends beyond the two enterprise agencies.

Strengthening communities and rural economic development

298. SE plays a significant role in rural development: for example, in 2008/09, 22% of all SE delivered products were to rural businesses. It has a dedicated rural development team and a series of initiatives in support of its rural areas. Lena Wilson outlined SE’s range of interventions in rural areas and said—

“We divert quite a lot of our attention and resources into rural areas because they are economically important to Scotland. You are right to say that, unlike Highlands and Islands Enterprise, we do not have a specific fragile communities remit, but we strongly recognise the economic potential and requirements of rural areas”.237

299. HIE’s distinctive Strengthening Communities role allows HIE to assist community businesses in developing schemes such as small-scale generation of renewable energy. The Committee, in the course of this inquiry, has been interested in the future of the more remote and fragile parts of the SE region, which do not benefit from the Strengthening Communities remit.

300. The Committee also wished to establish whether the reforms had led to a reduction in the resources available for rural development. In its written submission, The Scottish Borders Council stated:

“The rationalisation has seen a reduction in the amount of public sector investment in the local economy. As responsibility and expectation of Scottish Borders Council for developing the local economy of the Borders has increased, there has been a significant reduction in economic development expenditure at the local level as only a proportion of previous LEC expenditure transferred. In practical terms, this compromises delivery of projects (and infrastructure projects in particular), as the ability to lever in funding from EU and other sources is diminished. The Council has become the main source of funds to invest in developing the local economy”.238

301. Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce lamented the level of resources allocated by local authorities “We understand that the annual regeneration budget of Dumfries and Galloway for Wigtownshire is below £30,000. Clearly, this can achieve very little”.239

302. Professor Mark Shucksmith, in oral evidence to the Committee, emphasised the importance of what he described as the “the social side—or, if you like, the softer side—of rural economic development. As I understand it, Scottish Enterprise has not been able to do as much in that area as Highlands and Islands Enterprise”. He argued that these capacity-building interventions were equally important as traditional means of economic development, such as business support. He therefore felt that the application of HIE’s strengthening communities remit would be worthwhile for lowland Scotland as it had the potential to—

“animate communities, to support them, to give them more power, and, as the European Commission has said, to draw on the knowledge that only they have of their places—what is special about them, what their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities are, and so on”.240

303. Without wishing to dictate where such responsibility should lie, Professor Shucksmith argued—

“the important thing is that there should be synergies between the strengthening communities work and the business support work, so it rather depends on who the main player is in relation to the other aspects of economic development”.241

304. Written evidence from David Cameron called for an emphasis on “giving communities the tools and finance to purchase their land” which would “maximise the opportunities which exist in all communities”.242

305. The small scale development of renewable energy is a case in point. A number of communities, given the appropriate support, have been able to raise the finances to complete land buy-outs, generate renewable energy and feed profits back into the local community thereby realising social as well as economic aims. The South Uist Community land buy-out represents another successful translation of local appetite for taking control of local assets.243

306. The roll-out of high speed broadband was also emphasised as a key government intervention which would help to level the playing field for those based in rural areas.244

307. The Cabinet Secretary recognised that “there is a sense that connection with communities is diminishing” within the Scottish Enterprise area, and that this is a product “of the fact that Scottish Enterprise is now focussing specifically on enterprise support and development. I accept that this is different from community development”.245

308. The Committee believes that interventions in rural economic development should enable rural communities to imagine the future of its local area and build its capacity to realise that vision.

309. The Committee has heard evidence of and seen for itself the types of project which have had success through such capacity building, or place-shaping approaches, particularly as a result of HIE’s Strengthening Communities remit.

310. The Committee believes that the same approach could successfully be applied to communities outside the HIE area. The Committee notes the Cabinet Secretary’s recognition that SE’s focus on economic support and development has contributed to a diminished sense of connection with communities. The Committee seeks a reassurance from the Scottish Government that such community-led economic opportunities are not being lost as a result

311. The Committee explored the nature of HIE’s distinctive contribution to the social and economic development of the Highlands and Islands. The contribution of HIE’s role across the area and how it carried out its strengthening communities remit was the subject of substantial interest and comment by witnesses.

312. HIE stated in its written submission that its “Strengthening Communities remit is an absolutely integral part of its approach to stimulating growth. In rural areas it is virtually impossible to make an economic intervention that does not impact on the social fabric and vice versa”.246 During its visit to Skye in November 2010 the Committee heard evidence on the balance HIE strikes between a focus on account managed businesses and support for local communities and how this has altered since the reforms, Councillor Ross of Highland Council said: “There certainly has been a change of approach, and the focus is very much on growth businesses and account-managed businesses”.247

313. Support for a strong local presence and for HIE’s strengthening communities remit came from community organisations in the HIE area. Norman Gillies said “Creating a development environment requires communities to be strengthened, and that was all part and parcel of what HIE used to do—and did well—before the changes”.248 Martin Wright commented that: “It is important that a distinctive role continues to be played for the Highlands and Islands because it is a distinctive region with distinctive needs. I support others who have said that there is a need for HIE in some form or other. It must have a full regional remit, because the Highlands and Islands is a region and it must operate as such”.249

314. A number of witnesses expressed the view that changes were required to the strategic focus at HIE and that a greater emphasis on the western parts of the Highlands and Islands was needed. Lorne Macleod said: “I have found it very difficult to understand the distinction between Scottish Enterprise and HIE, its role in strengthening communities put to one side. They are doing the same thing—account managing businesses and looking at the major strategic projects. There must be a focus on the remote and fragile areas”.250 This view found support from the Stòras Uibhist and from Norman Gillies who said: “Údarás na Gaeltachta has come up on a couple of occasions. That name brings to my mind a creative and risk-taking approach to development. It is a good model; indeed, it is exceptional when it works”.251

315. The Committee took the opportunity of visiting the Sleat Community Trust to hear of its achievements and plans in securing assets and in generating income through a variety of projects. The Committee also visited Rag, Tag’n’Textile a social enterprise providing support to disadvantaged and excluded individuals through a textile re-cycling and retail business.

316. Scottish Borders Council considered a unification of the agencies to be worthy of further examination as “the experience and expertise in the Highlands and Islands could make a valuable contribution to other rural areas such as the Scottish Borders, the South of Scotland and the North East of Scotland”.252

317. Similarly, Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce stated that “the problem at present is that only the Highlands and Islands are considered when it comes to supporting rural Scotland, yet Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders are also rural and given far less support in practical terms than the Highlands and Islands. We would favour a single national economic development agency”.253 On the other hand, Lena Wilson told the Committee that, despite not having a specific fragile communities remit, SE strongly recognises “the economic potential and requirements of rural areas”.254

318. HI-Arts has stated the view: “while it may be arguable whether the Highlands and Islands area, uniquely, requires its own development agency, it is certainly the case that a development agency primarily focused on major cities will not serve the rest of Scotland well. The work which HI~Arts has done in Dumfries and Galloway and in Scottish Borders has pointed up how the absence of a HIE-style approach has limited the growth of those area”.255

319. There has also been strong rejection of the idea of merging HIE and SE, largely on the basis that this would disadvantage the HIE area. Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar “would be highly concerned if HIE were to be amalgamated with Scottish Enterprise. This would represent the worst possible outcome as it would inevitably lead to all focus being lost in relation to the critical issues that face island economies and communities”.256 Similarly, Highland Council “believes that a single enterprise agency for Scotland would be unable to respond to the particular economic challenges and opportunities facing the Highland and the wider Highlands and Islands regional economy. Competing demands elsewhere in lowland Scotland would influence policy direction and resource allocation and this would be of mixed fortune to the diverse local economies within the Highlands and Islands”. 257

320. HIE itself drew attention to the specific concerns arising from the economic geography of the HIE region - sparsity of population; physical remoteness; inhospitable terrain; and island communities. It also emphasised that the HIE area is not a single regional economy, “but eight to ten local economies, each relatively self-contained and with only weak linkages to its neighbours”. 258

321. The view that the HIE region may suffer came not only from that region itself – the Royal Society of Edinburgh stated: “The purpose and priorities of the two agencies are very different and should remain so. A merger would be very damaging as it would have a detrimental impact on the remoter rural areas”.259

322. A related suggestion has been made to the Committee, by both Stòras Uibhist260 and Lorne MacLeod261 that Inverness and the inner Moray Firth area should be transferred to SE. However, William Roe told the Committee: “There is no successful rural region in the world that does not have a successful city at its heart”.262

323. While the Committee recognises that there are efficiencies that could be made as a result of replacing HIE and SE with a single enterprise agency, it notes the significant support across the local authorities, the businesses, community and other organisations within HIE’s area for the retention of HIE and its strengthening communities remit.

324. The Committee agrees that the particular issues arising from the economic geography of the Highlands and Islands remain substantial at this time, and require to be addressed by a dedicated regional agency.

Shared services

325. While the question as to whether a single agency would be appropriate has been a source of controversy, there is considerably more agreement on the principle, at least, of shared services between HIE, SE and/or other public bodies.

326. CBI Scotland observed that “there may be opportunities to merge or contract-out ‘back office’ functions, or indeed co-locate (e.g. HIE and VisitScotland) offices though this is unlikely to generate immediate savings”,263 while Highland Council noted that ““there is undoubtedly scope for more shared services across SE and HIE and this should also include development of a shared approach to policy for individual sectors. This is happening already to some extent but could undoubtedly be improved”.264 Similarly, Bill Jamieson told the Committee “quite a lot could be done by way of back-office rationalisation” as a result of HIE and SE pooling common costs and resources.265

327. SCDI suggested that there is potential for HIE and SE to share, for example, IT and HR functions. Further, it suggested that these could be dispersed to “create well-paid public sector jobs in remote and fragile areas (for example Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s data centre on Benbecula)”. SCDI also identified that such opportunities for shared services go beyond the enterprise networks.266

328. SE has operated a shared service for IT services with SDS since April 2010, resulting in £2m annual savings for each, totalling £20m of savings for the public sector budget,267 while HIE is “keen to pursue opportunities wherever they exist – both within the region and more broadly across Scotland”.268

329. The Committee welcomes the willingness of the agencies to embrace the shared services agenda. The Committee urges HIE and SE to work together, and with relevant other public bodies, to develop and implement a plan to establish shared services where these are achievable and likely to result in efficiencies, while maintaining an appropriate level of service.

Delivery of all services by Local Government

330. While a number of contributors to the inquiry wished to see greater reform or a reversal of the reforms which have been made, a majority of respondents wished to continue with the current division of responsibilities.

331. Highland Council has stated that “in most countries of the developed world economic development is more closely associated with local government rather than agencies of national government as in Scotland”.269

332. Anil Gupta stated “In CoSLA and among our membership, we want the bedding down process to continue” while Ronnie Smith argued that, although BES members had no desire to return to the previous arrangements, “we lost something quite valuable” and reiterated the need for a consistent national approach to local economic development.270

333. Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar believes that the Scottish Government’s economic aims, as they relate to the islands, would be best delivered through the local authority, pointing to the need for local policy-forming and decision-making, and efficiencies, coherence, focus and consolidation of local effort. If this occurred, it would be “essential that a strategic national function be retained. In the Comhairle’s view this national function would be best housed within the Scottish Government itself, rather than the existing quango-led approach. This would ensure that a national perspective is brought to bear on regional and local economic policy”.271 Members of Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce were also mostly positive about HIE responsibilities being adopted by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar.272

334. Glasgow City Council believes that it could make a compelling case for the integration of Scottish Enterprise’s ‘local’ services with those of the local authority, the Glasgow Economic Partnership and Business Gateway, achieving “more and better outcomes...at lower cost”. The Council states that “this would have the effect of de-cluttering local services, without severing the relationship of those local services with the demands of a national strategy”.273

335. Orkney Islands Council believes that “consideration should be given to an increase in local control of delivery in order to be able to engage effectively and address the entirely different and often unique circumstances and local issues impacting on the development of the regional economy”.274

336. However, a number of concerns have also been raised that would not favour the delivery of all services by local authorities. Business Enterprise Scotland, for example, has raised the risk of authorities “effectively competing against each other to attract good quality business and start up clients”.275

337. Business Enterprise Scotland also warned that: “It is not unreasonable for some LAs to invest more in particular aspects of business support in their respective areas, but if this is not placed within an agreed context, the whole principle of a “national” service will be compromised causing confusion to both individuals and company clients and potentially create costly and damaging rivalries between Councils”.276

338. Inverness Chamber of Commerce has noted that “councils are generally judged to be too political and short-term in their outlook and decision-making, and too non-commercial in their mode of operation”.277

339. The Committee welcomes the readiness of a number of local authorities to expand their roles, and recognises the quality of services provided locally. However, given the strong possibility that the quality, extent and scope of services delivered will vary from authority to authority, the Committee does not believe that further radical devolution of responsibility to local authorities is desirable at this time.

340. As touched on earlier in this report, the focus going forward should be on using evidence to tailor the next Business Gateway contract, in 2012, to meet changing economic circumstances and tailor services to meet specific local needs – building on the good work which many local authorities have already undertaken to enhance services in their area.

341. On the question of whether funds for local economic development should be ring-fenced within councils, witnesses held a range of views. Anil Gupta said that CoSLA saw risks associated with making economic development a statutory duty on local authorities, arguing that it would be difficult to set a required level of input – some authorities might reduce activity to the lowest statutory level while others might struggle to deliver the required level during times of financial constraint.278

342. Robin Presswood said that SLAED’s position differed and pointed out that the Cabinet Secretary’s original statement on the review of enterprise functions made it clear that local authorities were to be the lead agency for delivery of local economic development.278 Ronnie Smith spoke of the risk that services would be easier for some local authorities to cut when times were hard if there was no statutory responsibility placed on them.279 Colin Borland of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) agreed stating “in some authorities it is not even certain that an economic development service will be kept”.280

343. The Committee recommends that the Scottish Government and CoSLA work together to clarify the powers of local authorities in economic development.

Risk capital and the Scottish Investment Bank

344. A strong consensus on the need for more risk capital to be available in Scotland has emerged from both the written submissions and from testimony provided by expert witnesses. This has coincided with the establishment of the Scottish Investment Bank and the Scottish Loans Fund within SE in early 2011.

345. Dr Robert Crawford, in particular, has called for a substantial change in Scotland’s economic development model, advocating “a far more commercial model of economic development intervention via the creation of an investment bank charged to both simultaneously stimulate and invest in opportunity in Scotland regardless of sector with the only target being a return in investment for the taxpayer which is then reinvested in further opportunity”.281

346. Dr Crawford envisages that such a bank should: be staffed by investment professionals with a track record of success; have an initial budget of the order of £300 million to be reviewed after three years; be funded from the existing enterprise budgets; not be run on a regional basis; work closely with Scottish Development International to identify international investment opportunities;281 be open to investment in things other than business – for instance, critical infrastructure; 282 and, “subject to the commercial sense of the investment...take a longer-term view about whether investment will pay off”.283

347. Dr Crawford also suggested that the newly-established Scottish Investment Bank (as distinct from his proposed investment bank) would subsume existing investment funds operated by SE, and might also become too narrowly-focussed.282 However, Professor Donald MacRae declared “I am adamant that the other successful schemes that were mentioned, such as the co-investment fund and proof-of-concept fund, will not be negatively affected by the loan fund”.284

348. Professor MacRae also stated “we need to increase the supply of risk capital in Scotland” but added “we should not do so at the expense of doing away with all the infrastructure of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It is not a case of having one or other; it is a case of adding on investment”.285

349. Lena Wilson, responding to Dr Crawford’s emphasis on risk capital over grants, told the Committee “Amazon’s project to create 950 jobs for Scotland that was announced last week would not have happened without an innovative form of grants in respect of Regional Selective Assistance and a property grant from Scottish Enterprise, which came to no more than 10 per cent of the overall cost of the building. That is not a subsidy in any way. Free-for-all grants do not work; targeted grants absolutely work. Forty per cent of all inward investors said that they would never even have considered Scotland had a targeted grant not been available…some £70 million to £80 million in R and D would not have happened without an R and D grant”.286

350. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that SE had re-launched its equity products under the Scottish Investment Bank brand and that the Scottish Loan Fund was “now in place and ready to go”.287 He also stated “the fund complements existing SIB equity products, the UK enterprise finance guarantee scheme and the loan funds that many of our local authorities operate” and that the overall public sector commitment to the fund is now £55 million”.288 As at 14 February 2011, the total value of SIB capitalised funds was £219 million (including £55 million for the Scottish Loans Fund), while the SE Board has given approval for a further £43 million to be invested from balance sheet funds: this gives a total SIB capital value of £262 million.289

351. The Committee welcomes the establishment of the Scottish Investment Bank and the Scottish Loans Fund, but seeks evidence from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise of the extent to which these represent ‘new money’ for investment rather than a re-branding of existing schemes.

conclusionS and recomendations

Introduction

352. While it is clear that widespread support exists for the role of a publicly-funded enterprise network, opinions differ regarding the distribution of responsibilities for economic development across Government, the development agencies and the local authorities.

353. The Committee notes the CoSLA event that took place on 22 February 2011 to evaluate the success of the transfer of Business Gateway functions to local authorities and looks forward to receiving a note of the event.

354. The Committee has heard much evidence to suggest that the transfer of delivery of Business Gateway and local economic development has had some advantages – local accountability, alignment with other local authorities’ services and so on. Set against this is the evidence that has suggested that some businesses with the potential for growth miss out or fall between local and national support services.

355. The transfer of regeneration responsibilities to local authorities has been slow to get off the ground and there is confusion over roles. Contributors to the inquiry regretted the fact that some projects – such as the regeneration of Ravenscraig – appeared to slip between the gaps.

356. The budgets of the enterprise agencies have declined steadily over the period since 2007, and there is now a question mark over whether they can continue to deliver a broad range of services to businesses as well as deliver on opportunities associated with renewable energy while at the same delivering large, transformational infrastructure projects such as the roll-out of high speed broadband with the resources available to them.

357. The Committee recognises that economic development takes time and that a sustained emphasis and direction is required to support any intervention.

Social capital

358. The Committee is struck by the evidence it heard concerning investment in communities and views projects which lead to community enablement and “place-shaping” effective whether these communities reside in inner city urban areas or remote rural areas.

359. The Committee considers that investment in human capital can go hand-in-hand with economic growth – a range of community projects, particularly in the area of community energy generation bear this out.

360. The Committee accepts that different types of intervention will be appropriate to different areas but the common aim should be to offer a level playing field that will support communities to undertake projects that will allow them to develop economically. In this context, consideration should be given by the next government of how communities, regardless of their geographic location, can be empowered to take advantage of economic opportunities in order to flourish socially and economically.

361. The Committee seeks a reassurance from the Scottish Government that such community-led economic opportunities are not being lost due to the absence of a social remit for Scottish Enterprise.

Access to finance

362. There is now a sense of urgency surrounding the ability of businesses of all shapes and sizes to access capital to innovate and grow. The Committee warmly welcomes the establishment of the Scottish Investment Bank and the Scottish Loans Fund. However, the Committee remains unclear of the extent to which these reflect substantial ‘new money’ rather than a re-branding of existing schemes

Alignment

363. With regard to the alignment of public sector intervention, the Committee is not persuaded that the reforms have assisted, nor that they have decluttered the delivery landscape.

364. Greater clarity is required on the roles and responsibilities of all public and private sector players in economic development. Better alignment of intervention across all sectors would provide greater cohesion to the implementation of the Government’s economic strategy

365. Issues have arisen over the visibility and accountability of structures such as the strategic forum and Regional Advisory Boards. If such bodies are to be instrumental and influential, there must be clear lines of accountability to the parliament.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

366. The Committee took the opportunity to meet in the HIE area and engage with local businesses, social enterprises and with local government. The Committee heard a great deal of inspiring evidence surrounding HIE’s ambition.

367. However, the Committee is concerned to find that HIE’s local presence felt before the 2007 reforms has been reduced and that a perceived dilution of HIE’s strengthening communities remit has taken place. The Committee recognises that there is a risk that a loss of momentum, coupled with declining resources, not just in agency funding but also from sources such as the lottery, could mean that some of the major strengthening communities initiatives such as community buy-outs could be more difficult to achieve in the future. The Committee requests a response from the Scottish Government on its assessment of this risk.

Skills

368. The backdrop of the recession risks a “lost generation” of unskilled people, who will find in difficult to access work even within a recovery economy. It is essential, therefore, that resources are aligned to prevent this. Opportunities to train young people within renewable energy and home energy exist now.

369. The formation of Skills Development Scotland has had mixed success and it has been slow to engage with stakeholders. While the Committee does not recommend further structural reform in this area in the medium term, SDS must now grasp its leadership role in skills development and put a fresh emphasis on engagement with partners and stakeholders and a renewed focus on good quality labour market analysis and mapping of skills requirements.

370. It is of critical importance at this early stage of economic recovery and for the future that industry is able to articulate its needs and receive a joined up skills response, based on local, regional and national mapping of need.

The future

371. It is apparent from the evidence which the Committee has heard that sticking with the status quo carries the risks that some businesses with the potential for growth will continue to be left out in the cold; regeneration will continue to be a low priority for local authorities and the resources of the enterprise agencies and local authorities (in the absence of a statutory duty upon them) will be stretched too thinly to make a meaningful impact.

372. The Committee recommends that resources allocated to support economic development are not reduced any further. The Scottish Government needs to recognise that to seriously exploit emerging opportunities, such as those relating to renewables, additional resources will be required.

373. The Scottish Government now needs to give serious thought to what shape enterprise and regeneration support in the future might take. In an atmosphere of declining resources for public intervention, the Committee believes that a key focus going forward should be on supporting access to capital for both businesses and community groups, regardless of where they are based.

374. Drawing together the evidence it has heard, the Committee proposes the following checklist for the future of enterprise support in Scotland. The desirable characteristics of any state intervention to stimulate economic growth are that it must:

  • respond to market failure, particularly in the areas of internationalisation, innovation and research and leadership;

  • promote entrepreneurship;

  • develop a skilled workforce which matches the needs of the economy;

  • increase access to, and availability of, investment capital by aligning public funds and stimulating input from the private sector;

  • focus on areas with the greatest potential return for the Scottish economy;

  • align policy and strategy between all delivery agencies;

  • avoid unnecessary bureaucracy;

  • have clarity of responsibilities;

  • support local partnerships and invest in the capabilities of communities to determine their own economic future;

  • focus on outcomes for the economy;

  • support innovation and promote the investment by business in innovation;

  • allow a degree of risk-taking; and

  • support more businesses to export.

375. While the enterprise agencies, in their current shape, would argue that they already deliver on all of these characteristics, the Committee has heard evidence to suggest that this is not always the case and more needs to be done to support sustainable economic recovery.

376. The Committee is particularly concerned that access to investment capital is hindering businesses’ ability to grow and therefore undermining economic recovery and Scotland’s long term competitiveness.

377. The Committee therefore recommends that the Scottish Government considers what more it can do to enable businesses to access investment capital, without further reducing the resources available to the enterprise agencies to meet their existing responsibilities.

EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES

25th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 22 September 2010

1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to take item 4 and any future discussions of this nature in private.

3. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Colin Borland, Public Affairs Manager, Federation of Small Businesses;

Garry Clark, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scottish Chamber of Commerce;

Graham Birse, Deputy Chief Executive, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

4. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms (in private): The Committee considered the evidence heard during today's meeting and its approach to the inquiry

26th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 29 September 2010

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms (in private): The Committee considered the evidence to date and its approach to the inquiry.

3. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Bill Jamieson, Executive Editor, The Scotsman;

Alasdair Northrop, Editor in Chief, Business7, Scottish Business Insider.

27th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 6 October 2010

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Robin Presswood, Chairman Scottish Local Authority Economic Development Group, Fife Council;

Anil Gupta, Environment and Regeneration Team Leader, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities;

Jim Galloway, Member of the Business Gateway Board, City of Edinburgh Council;

Jonathan Levie, Reader, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde;

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services and Executive Director of Business Enterprise Scotland, Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

28th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 27 October 2010

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Paul Sheerin, Vice President, Global Operations, Polaroid Eyewear;

Paul Nelson, Managing Director, Allied Vehicles;

Michael Levack, Chief Executive, Scottish Building Federation;

Lorraine Hubbard, Training Development Officer UK, and Martin Hottass, Energy Sector Business Partner, Siemens;

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive, and Andrew Livingston, Director of Finance and Audit, Skills Development Scotland;

Linda McTavish, Principal of Anniesland College, Glasgow and Convenor of Scotland's Colleges Principals' Convention;

Laurence Howells, Senior Director of Skills, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Scottish Funding Council;

Jacqui Hepburn, Director, Sector Skills Alliance;

Martin Kirkwood, Deputy Director, Scottish Funding Council.

5. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms (in private): The Committee considered the evidence heard during today's meeting and its approach to the inquiry

29th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 1 November 2010

1. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Callum Iain MacIver, Director of Development, and Councillor Angus Campbell, Leader, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar;

Councillor Ian Ross, Chair of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, and Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader of the Administration, The Highland Council;

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce;

Lorne MacLeod, Company Director, Jansvans Limited;

Campbell Grant, Managing Director, Sitekit Solutions Ltd;

Clive Hartwell, Director, Skyeskyns Limited;

Norman Gillies, Director of Development, Clan Donald Lands Trust;

Martin Wright, Director of Marketing and Communications, UHI Millennium Institute;

Donald MacDonald, Managing Director, AROS;

Robert Livingston, Director, HI-Arts;

Angus MacMillan, Chairman, Stòras Uibhist;

Howard Vaughan, Finance and Operations Director, Columba 1400.

30th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 10 November 2010

3. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

John McLaren, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Public Policy for Regions;

Professor Mike Danson, Reader in Economics and Management, University of the West of Scotland.

4. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms (in private): The Committee considered the evidence heard to date and its approach to next steps in the inquiry.

1st Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 12 January 2011

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Professor Donald MacRae, Former Board Member, and Dr Robert Crawford, Former Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise;

Steve Thomson, Board Member, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

2nd Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 19 January 2011

1. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Lena Wilson, Chief Executive, and Crawford Gillies, Chairman, Scottish Enterprise;

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive, and William Roe, Chair, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

3rd Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 26 January 2011

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

Dr Ian Wall FRICS Hon FRIAS, Vice Chair, SURF;

Professor Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning and Director of Research and Consultancy, Newcastle University.

4th Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 2 February 2011

2. A fundamental review of the purpose of an enterprise agency and the success of the recent reforms: The Committee took evidence from—

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, Dr Gary Gillespie, Deputy Director, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser, and John Mason, Head of Business Directorate, Scottish Government.

ORAL EVIDENCE

25th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 22 September 2010

ORAL EVIDENCE

Colin Borland, Public Affairs Manager, Federation of Small Businesses;

Garry Clark, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Scottish Chamber of Commerce;

Graham Birse, Deputy Chief Executive, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

The Federation of Small Businesses
Scottish Chambers of Commerce

26th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 29 September 2010

ORAL EVIDENCE

Bill Jamieson, Executive Editor, The Scotsman;

Alasdair Northrop, Editor in Chief, Business7, Scottish Business Insider.

27th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 6 October 2010

ORAL EVIDENCE

Robin Presswood, Chairman Scottish Local Authority Economic Development Group, Fife Council;

Anil Gupta, Environment and Regeneration Team Leader, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities;

Jim Galloway, Member of the Business Gateway Board, City of Edinburgh Council;

Jonathan Levie, Reader, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde;

Ronnie Smith, Chief Executive of Lanarkshire Enterprise Services and Executive Director of Business Enterprise Scotland, Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED)
Business Enterprise Scotland

SUPPLEMENTARY EVIDENCE

Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED)
Jonathan Levie

28th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 27 October 2010

ORAL EVIDENCE

Paul Sheerin, Vice President, Global Operations, Polaroid Eyewear;

Paul Nelson, Managing Director, Allied Vehicles;

Michael Levack, Chief Executive, Scottish Building Federation;

Lorraine Hubbard, Training Development Officer UK, and Martin Hottass, Energy Sector Business Partner, Siemens;

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive, and Andrew Livingston, Director of Finance and Audit, Skills Development Scotland;

Linda McTavish, Principal of Anniesland College, Glasgow and Convenor of Scotland's Colleges Principals' Convention;

Laurence Howells, Senior Director of Skills, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Scottish Funding Council;

Jacqui Hepburn, Director, Sector Skills Alliance;

Martin Kirkwood, Deputy Director, Scottish Funding Council.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Scottish Engineering
Skills Development Scotland
Alliance Sector Skills Councils Scotland
The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council

SUPPLEMENTARY EVIDENCE

Skills Development Scotland

29th Meeting, 2010 (Session 3), 1 November 2010

ORAL EVIDENCE

Callum Iain MacIver, Director of Development, and Councillor Angus Campbell, Leader, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar;

Councillor Ian Ross, Chair of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, and Councillor Michael Foxley, Leader of the Administration, The Highland Council;

Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce;

Lorne MacLeod, Company Director, Jansvans Limited;

Campbell Grant, Managing Director, Sitekit Solutions Ltd;

Clive Hartwell, Director, Skyeskyns Limited;

Norman Gillies, Director of Development, Clan Donald Lands Trust;

Martin Wright, Director of Marketing and Communications, UHI Millennium Institute;

Donald MacDonald, Managing Director, AROS;

Robert Livingston, Director, HI-Arts;

Angus MacMillan, Chairman, Stòras Uibhist;

Howard Vaughan, Finance and Operations Director, Columba 1400.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
The Highland Council
Inverness Chamber of Commerce
Jansvans Ltd
Norman Gillies
UHI Millenium Institute
Aros
HI Arts
Storas Uibhist
ORAL EVIDENCE

John McLaren, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Public Policy for Regions;

Professor Mike Danson, Reader in Economics and Management, University of the West of Scotland.

1st Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 12 January 2011

ORAL EVIDENCE

Professor Donald MacRae, Former Board Member, and Dr Robert Crawford, Former Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise;

Steve Thomson, Board Member, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Robert Crawford

2nd Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 19 January 2011

ORAL EVIDENCE

Lena Wilson, Chief Executive, and Crawford Gillies, Chairman, Scottish Enterprise;

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive, and William Roe, Chair, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

3rd Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 26 January 2011

26th January 2011

ORAL EVIDENCE

Dr Ian Wall, Vice Chair, SURF

Professor Mark Shucksmith, Professor of Planning and Director of Research and Consultancy, Newcastle University.

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Mark Shucksmith OBE

4th Meeting, 2011 (Session 3), 2 February 2011

ORAL EVIDENCE

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth

FURTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF)
Aberdeenshire Council
Argyll and Bute Council
Bill Bryan
Bob Downie
Bord na Gaidhlig
CBI Scotland
COSLA
David Cameron
Development Partners Ltd
Development Services Fife Council
East Lothian Council
Economic Development Association Scotland
Falkirk Council
Fusion Scotland Ltd
Glasgow City Council
Hebridean Energy Limited
Iain McDonald
Lochaber and Fort William Outdoor Capital of the UK
Morag Paterson
North Ayrshire Council
Orkney Islands Council
Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce
Scottish Borders Council
SCDI
Scottish Enterprise Regional Advisory Board East (RAB)
Scottish Property Federation
STUC
South and North Lanarkshire Councils
South of Scotland Regional Advisory Board
Stirling Council
Tayside RAB
The Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust
The Royal Society of Edinburgh
The University of Dundee
The University of Stirling
Tom Miers
VisitScotland
West Lothian Council
Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce

Previous

 


Footnotes:

82 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4787

83 The Scottish Government, The Government Economic Strategy(page v), 2007

84 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4211

85 CBI Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

86 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 6 October 2010, col 4191

87 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4174-6

88 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4176

89 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4180

90 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4182

91 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4192

92 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4198-9

93 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010,col 4192

94 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4175

96 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4197

97 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4197

98 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4197-8

99 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4199

100 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4216

101 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4208

102 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4218

103 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4216-7

104 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4179

105 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4205

106 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4208

107 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4211

108 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011, col 4781

109 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 6 October 2010, col 4179

110 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 6 October 2010, col 4194

111 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4640

112 Scottish Council for Development and Industry, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

113 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4632

114 Highlands and Islands Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

115 Economic Development Association Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

116 CBI Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

117 Alliance of Sector Skills Councils Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

118 Fusion Scotland Ltd, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

119 Orkney Islands Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

120 AROS, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

121 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4317

122 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011, col 4779

123 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4587

124 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4594

125 CBI Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

126 Federation of Small Businesses, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

127 The Royal Society of Edinburgh, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

128 Fife Council (Development Services), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

129 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4616

130 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4617

131 Fusion Scotland Ltd, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

132 Falkirk Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

133 West Lothian Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010.

134 Aberdeenshire Council, written submission to the Committee, November 2010

135 Glasgow City Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

136 Scottish Chambers of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

137 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4592

138 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4631

139 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4632

140 Scottish Chambers of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

141 Bill Bryan, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

142 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4590

143 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4587

144 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4596

145 A proposed amendment to this paragraph: the replacement of the second sentence with “However, it urges the Scottish Government to ensure that future economic development services and their impact on economic growth are fully considered before and future budget decisions are taken” was disagreed to. The result was: For 3 (Rob Gibson, Stuart McMillan, Christopher Harvie). Against 4 (Iain Smith Lewis Macdonald, Wendy Alexander and Marilyn Livingstone).

146 West Lothian Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

147 The Royal Society of Edinburgh, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

148 Scottish Engineering, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

149 Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, November 2010

150 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4328

151 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4328

152 Scottish Council for Development and Industry, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

153 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4626

154 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4627

155 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 22 February 2011, col 4032

156 CBI Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

157 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4236

158 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4329

159 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report,19 January 2011, col 4631

160 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4659

161 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4592

162 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4609

163 The Royal Society of Edinburgh, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

165 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4768

166 Business Enterprise Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

167 Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS) written submission to the Committee, September 2010

168 The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

169 Business Enterprise Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

170 Fife Council (Development Services), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

171 Aberdeenshire Council, written submission to the Committee, November 2010

173 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official report, 19 January 2011, cols 4625-7

174 Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

175 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4785

176 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4779

178 Economic Development Association Scotland (EDAS), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

179 Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

180 Scottish Enterprise East Regional Advisory Board, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

181 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4615

182 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4645

183 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011,col 4646

184 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4775

185 Highlands and Islands Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

186 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4773

187 Fusion Scotland Ltd, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

188 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4627

189 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4616

190 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4328

191 Scottish Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

192 Scottish Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

193 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 21 April 2010, col 3538

194 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November, 2010 col 4318

195 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January, 2011, col 4631

196 Scottish Enterprise, Business Plan 2010-13, April 2010

197 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4657

198 Highlands and Islands Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

199 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4633

200 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4631

201 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4771

202 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4318

203 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4325

204 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4586

205 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4591

206 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4317

207 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011, col 4779

208 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011, col 4769

209 Falkirk Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

210 North Ayrshire Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

211 Lochaber and Fort William Outdoor Capital of the UK, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

212 Federation of Small Businesses, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

213 East Lothian Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

214 Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

215 Orkney Islands Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

216 Jansvans Ltd, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

217 Economic Development Association Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

218 Federation of Small Businesses, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

219 Economic Development Association Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

220 Fife Council (Development Services), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

221 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 22 September 2010,col 4030

222 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 22 September 2010,col 4032

223 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4591

224 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4318

225 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4626

226 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 10 November 2010, col 4320

227 Falkirk Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

228 Jansvans Ltd, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

229 Stòras Uibhist, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

230 Federation of Small Businesses, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

231 Fife Council (Development Services), written submission to the Committee, September 2010

232 North Ayrshire Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

233 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4790

234 East Lothian Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

235 Business Enterprise Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

236 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 27 October 2010, col 4193

237 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4653

238 Scottish Borders Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

239 Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

240 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 26 January 2011, col 4696

241 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 26 January 2011, cols 4696-7

242 David Cameron, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

243 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,col 4792

244 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 26 January 2011, col 4694

245 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011, col 4772

246 HIE, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

247 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4241

248 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4276

249 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4284

250 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4265

251 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4288

252 Scottish Borders Council, written submission to the Committee, October 2010

253 Wigtownshire Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, August 2010

254 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4653

255 Highlands and Islands Arts (HI-Arts), written submission to the Committee, August 2010

256 Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

257 Highland Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

258 Highlands and Islands Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

259 The Royal Society of Edinburgh, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

260 Stòras Uibhist, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

261 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 1 November 2010, col 4265

262 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 19 January 2011, col 4663

263 CBI Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

264 Highland Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

265 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 29 September 2010, col 4090

266 Scottish Council for Development and Industry, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

267 Scottish Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

268 Highlands and Islands Enterprise, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

269 Highland Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

270 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official report, 6 October 2010, col 4152

271 Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

272 Outer Hebrides Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, November 2010

273 Glasgow City Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

274 Orkney Islands Council, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

275 Business Enterprise Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

276 Business Enterprise Scotland, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

277 Inverness Chamber of Commerce, written submission to the Committee, September 2010

278 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 6 October 2010, col 4157

279 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 6 October 2010, col 4158

280 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 22 September 2010, col 4036

281 Dr Robert Crawford, written submission to the Committee, November 2010

282 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4604-5

283 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4612

284 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4606

285 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4598

286 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 12 January 2011, col 4635

287 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February 2011,cols 4768-9

288 Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Official Report, 2 February,cols 4768-9

289 Scottish Enterprise (Scottish Investment Bank), February 2011