European Structural and Investment Funds

Evaluation of the impact of ERDF support on low carbon objectives

May 24, 2023 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

In December 2022, we notified stakeholders that EKOS had been appointed to undertake an evaluation of the impact of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support on low carbon objectives during the 2014-20 programmes.

This evaluation report follows the last one provided by EKOS on the impact of ESF/ERDF support on SMEs and the long-term unemployed.

The aims and objectives of the report were to assess whether and to what extent the ERDF investment into low carbon activities is delivering benefits. Additional questions included:

  • Why are more benefits/impacts seen in areas which are considered to be ‘tried and tested’?
  • Has the 2014-2020 programme contributed towards Scotland’s approach to Low Carbon?
  • How has the level of ESIF investment to support low carbon activities delivered the anticipated volume of low carbon projects?
  • Has there been sufficient flexibility to allow the focus of funding to switch towards Low Carbon projects when needed?

The evaluation report into ERDF support for low carbon objectives has now been published and is available online.

Conclusion summary

Lessons, achievements and highlights are contained within each ease study evaluation; EKOS noted the programme has been successful in generating a range of activity which has driven Scotland further along the low carbon journey.

This includes mechanisms to support SME’s to engage with the circular economy are and larger innovation projects, such as District Heating and improved water management, have proved successful.  Improvements to transport infrastructure and the natural environment are also apparent from the study.

The report acknowledges “some projects have not progressed while others were reduced in scale” due to financial constraints and “the monitoring and evaluation of progress has been a challenge”.

In conclusion, the report states that “the funding has been well used, as intended, to act as a catalyst for demonstrator projects, providing space to explore the possibilities and experiment across different sectors, geographies and infrastructure.”

The report can be read in full online.

Further evaluations of aspects of the 2014-20 ESF and ERDF Programmes in Scotland can be found on our website.

The MA would like to thank EKOS and all stakeholders who contributed to the report’s findings.


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