Project Examples

Feasibility Study for Artist Studios for WHALE Arts
This involved an online survey of artists in the South West of Edinburgh to establish interest in studio space provision in Wester Hailes and a review of alternative provision. It helped establish what artists might look for and what the unique selling points of WHALE Arts could be. It involved consultations with local developers and architects to explore the costings arising from alternative forms of provision and a review of WHALE Arts delivery options, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each. Business forecasts were developed and a series of recommendations made.

Review of Highland and HIE Systems for supporting Community Led Development
This work, undertaken with Cambridge Economic Associates, was a major study of HIE systems for supporting social enterprise, community enterprise and account managed communities (in designated ‘fragile’ communities). It explored how HIE’s Account Management system and products were utilised to support community led development through a review of financial inputs, project databases and output monitoring systems. It included a major online survey of supported organisations and a comprehensive case study programme across several of the HIE areas and resulted in several recommendations including the need for a more effective means of capturing the long-term value of investment in community asset development.

Mapping of Food Insecurity in West Lothian
This study undertaken for the Food Poverty Insecurity Group – a West Lothian Partnership – involved the mapping of food poverty and food insecurity service provision across West Lothian. Working with Niall Alexander, a statistical and literary review was undertaken highlighting the implications for West Lothian. A figure of estimated food poverty and food insecurity was given. A series of selected case study interviews with twenty clients was then undertaken to understand the causes and implications of food poverty and food inequality – revealing the extent to which benefit administrative systems and increasing levels of insecure employment were resulting in food poverty and insecurity. The work resulted in a number of recommendations about working with existing community-based organisations to help prevent food poverty and food insecurity for particular client groups.

Evaluation of Strengthening Communities Programme
This was an interim review of a funding programme supporting the core costs of 60 community anchor organisations across Scotland. The methodology consisted of a review of desktop data, an online survey and telephone interviews with supported organisations and concluded with a workshop involving Scottish Government stakeholders and the delivery agents – DTAS, CEIS and HIE. A number of recommendations were made regarding better targeting to achieve a ‘step-change’ in assisted organisations and on approaches to monitoring and evaluating the programme as it matured.