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Public performance reports

Economic development

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22. Connect Priorities should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others. In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our Priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View.

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. This report outlines our performance in relation to our Economic Development Service and how this links to our objective to support the local economy by providing the right conditions for inclusive growth.

In partnership with local communities, voluntary agencies, the private sector and other public organisations, the council aims to promote employment creation, social inclusion, physical development and sustainability. 

The following indicators illustrate how we are performing in terms of fulfilling these aims, with more detail provided in the South Lanarkshire Economic Strategy 2013-2023.

It should be noted that from March 2020, the Economic Development service was pivotal in delivering and processing Scottish Government business support packages in response to Covid-19, and this has impacted on these measures

Number of businesses assisted by our Economic Development team (via grants, loans or property advice)
Target - 1,500 businesses

What this means

The council provides a range of advice and financial help for businesses based in the South Lanarkshire area. Financial help is provided through the Business Support Grant and Business Loans Scotland. The council also provides advice to businesses through Business Gateway and the Lanarkshire Property Advice Service. This indicator identifies the number of businesses assisted by the council via these grants, loans or property advice.

Why this matters The council has a key role in ensuring that there is an environment that is as supportive as possible to the circa 10,000 active businesses that are located within South Lanarkshire as well as new start up and micro businesses. As in most areas across Scotland, small businesses are the bedrock of the economy of South Lanarkshire and the council recognises that it needs to focus its efforts on the development of these businesses. Early intervention, preventative advice and pre-start care are all important in helping companies achieve a stable financial position.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 1,791 2,064 3,075 Yes, however 2020-21 includes Covid-19 support.
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

The number of businesses assisted by the Council in 2020-21 exceeded the annual target of 1,500. with approximately 3,075 businesses, including sole traders and self-employed, supported through a range of Covid-19 business grants and other business support between April 2020 to March 2021. The figure is inflated above normal levels by companies requiring assistance in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and so this figure cannot be directly compared to previous years.

Number of jobs created or sustained as a direct result of our Economic Development team’s intervention.
Target - 350 jobs (target was reduced from 500 to 350 in 2020-21 due to impact of Covid-19)

What this means This indicator identifies the number of jobs being created or sustained (saved) per year as a direct result of the above intervention by the council.
Why this matters The council recognises that it needs to focus its efforts on the development of those businesses which have growth potential. For this reason, council assistance provided in the way of grants, loans or property advice is directed towards helping businesses invest and take on more employees, increase turnover and develop new products and markets.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 812 943 - -
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

Resources were reprioritised during 2020-21 to focus on supporting businesses forced to close or operate under strict restrictions as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 support being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government did not require the collection of employee data, and so an exact figure regarding the number of jobs sustained (saved) is unable to be provided. However, given that over 3,000 businesses were supported, it is likely that this has contributed to sustaining employment and will have exceeded the target of 350 jobs.

Value of sales generated by businesses as a direct result of our Economic Development team’s intervention. Target - £5 million (target was reduced from £10m to £5m in 2020-21 due to impact of Covid-19)

What this means This indicator identifies the value of sales generated by businesses as a direct result of the above intervention by the council.
Why this matters The council recognises that it needs to focus its efforts on the development of those businesses which have growth potential. For this reason, council assistance provided in the way of grants, loans or property advice is directed towards helping businesses be more competitive and increase turnover and profit.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC £13.1 million £11.91 million - -
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service

Resources were reprioritised during 2020-21 to focus on supporting businesses forced to close or operate under strict restrictions as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 support being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government did not require the collection of business turnover information, and so an exact figure cannot be attributed to this measure for Covid-19 related support. Many of the businesses being supported were those which were adversely affected by the Government actions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, it therefore follows that this work did not contribute to those businesses achieving an increase in sales and turnover, rather the focus was about business survival and not supporting business growth.

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • Work with the new Business Gateway contractor, Elevator, to increase numbers of new business starts
  • Deliver programmes, services, and events to businesses around key sectors, locations, and themes (e.g., food and drink, tourism, construction, low carbon, innovation, internationalisation, collaboration, and young enterprise)
  • Develop an Economic ‘Response, Recovery and Renewal’ Strategy framed around three themes: People, Place and Business
  • Continue to review town centre strategies to establish the impact and outcomes of Covid-19 and refocus support for town centres
  • Launch new South Lanarkshire Tourism Strategy
  • Develop Investment and Marketing Programme
  • Develop Social Enterprise Strategy
  • Progress action to further understand the factors that influence the level of local spend and identify further opportunities for local spend.

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to economic development and regeneration can be found in the Community and Enterprise Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect Priorities are prepared. See Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 performance reports for further information.

 More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Spotlights.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (February 2022)