Pre-budget scrutiny 2020-21 – Enterprise Agency financial support

 

About the Inquiry

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee is focusing its pre-budget 2020-21 scrutiny on Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) and other financial support for businesses provided by Scotland’s enterprise agencies. It is our expectation that this will feed into Scottish Government budget plans and policy development.

The Committee would like to hear from businesses that have received RSA or other financial support from Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise over the past ten years. We want to understand what impact these grants have had and whether grant support could be improved.

We would also like to hear from businesses that have applied for RSA funding but have not had their applications accepted.

In addition, the Committee would like to gain an understanding of how the enterprise agencies measure the impact of the grant support they provide. This is fundamentally important to the Committee, as it attempts to focus more on the outcomes of public sector budgets.

Finally, the Committee would like to hear from any others who have views on these matters.

The remit of this year’s pre-budget scrutiny is:

To examine the impact of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA), and other enterprise agency financial support, in delivering the Scottish Government’s economic goals. Specifically, the Committee is interested in whether RSA helps businesses become more productive and internationally-focused, whether RSA impacts employment levels and fair work practices and the future of such support mechanisms.”

Evidence

The Committee has issued a call for written views. The deadline for submissions was 16 August 2019.

Read the Call for Written Views.

The Committee received submissions from:

The Committee also received submissions from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Members of the Committee visited a number of businesses to discuss the inquiry. Here are the notes of these visits:

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise followed up on points raised at the evidence session on 24 September.

Scottish Enterprise provided the following supplementary evidence.

On 7 October Scottish Enterprise provided a table of the total Regional Selective Assistance rejections and withdrawals from 2014/15 to 2018/19.

Correspondence

The Committee wrote to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise on 20 June 2019.

Letter to Scottish Enterprise (105KB pdf)

Letter to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (105KB pdf)

The Committee wrote to Scottish Enterprise on 25 September 2019 seeking additional information on regional selective assistance. Scottish Enterprise provided additional evidence on 26 September and Steve Dunlop responded on 30 September.

On 2 October the Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy. The Cabinet Secretary responded on 7 October.

On 8 October the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work provided additional evidence.

On 22 October Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work wrote to the Committee regarding the Scottish Growth Scheme.

 
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