Supporting Scotland’s economic growth – new audit invites businesses to share views


I’ve recently starting working on an audit with a few colleagues in Audit Scotland looking at the roles and impact of Scotland’s economic development agencies, Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

These agencies have a specific remit to generate economic growth across Scotland. They spend around £380 million a year supporting Scotland’s businesses and industry sectors. Our work will provide an independent assessment of what this money is spent on, and what it achieves. You can find out more about how we’re carrying out this work in our project flyer.

Since beginning the audit we have spoken to a few businesses and business representative groups who’ve received some form of support from the agencies. This has helped us gather insight into how SE and HIE operate and support economic growth in Scotland.

That work is ongoing, and we’re now inviting businesses to get in touch to share views and experiences with us.

We’d welcome responses from businesses who’ve received any form of support from SE and HIE. We’d like to hear from you on what went well, what could have gone better, and what benefits you and your business gained from the experience.

We also want to hear from you if your business was unable to access support from SE or HIE. What were the reasons for this, and were these reasons clearly explained to you?

We won’t publish individual responses, but will use the information we receive to help build a fuller picture of how economic development is progressing in Scotland, and to help compile our findings.

Our report, which we plan to publish in summer 2016, will highlight good practice and make relevant recommendations to help improve public sector economic development activity.

If you’d like to participate or have any queries, please get in touch by 5pm on Friday, December 11th 2015 by emailing me at or by telephoning 0131 625 1820. You can also write to the audit team at 102 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DN.

About the author

gdiamondGemma Diamond, senior manager, has worked on a wide range of audits across the public sector since joining Audit Scotland in 2010. She currently leads Audit Scotland’s economic development portfolio.

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