Economic and social impact assessments – more important than ever?

Economic and social impact assessments are an important way of demonstrating what the right investment can generate in terms of immediate and wider benefits. 

Understanding the impact of interventions on beneficiaries and wider economic and social conditions in local economies, plus the associated returns on public investments is a core element of ekosgen’s work.  We have completed assessments across a wide variety of investments and sectors, including: significant port infrastructure investment; establishment of new business sites and cultural venues; development of housing and tourism accommodation; and socio-economic impacts of community assets.  We have recently completed a high-profile piece of work to demonstrate the significant economic, social and strategic impacts of V&A Dundee. 

Economic growth, job creation, additional private sector investment and community wellbeing can all stem from investing in physical infrastructure or business support programmes, and all of these contribute to prosperity in local areas.  But how is this properly demonstrated?

There is a need to effectively re-start the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure the future economic resilience of our places.  As a result, demonstrating the extent of economic impacts has never been more important for public sector bodies, local authorities and organisations proposing and indeed making significant investments.

Demonstrating economic impacts has two main purposes:

  • It is a critical component of case-making for capital investment and for proposed business support programmes.
  • It is an essential tool in demonstrating the value of interventions and investments that have been made, as well as evidencing the economic contribution that anchor institutions and large employers can and do make to local areas.

The economic impacts extend beyond immediate expenditure on new buildings, facilities, business support, or creation of new job opportunities.  Economic impact extends to supply chain expenditure with local suppliers, and money spent by employees in the local economy.

ekosgen are expert in delivering robust and insightful economic impact assessments that provide real value for our clients.  We regularly work with clients in the public and private sectors to calculate the forecasted impacts to support planning applications, inform business case development, prepare funding bids and to help justify continued investment in successful economic development programmes.

We use rigorous and established methods to calculate the actual benefits realised as a result of interventions, programmes, organisations or facilities.  This ultimately helps to develop robust socio-economic evidence bases to inform decision making.

We have a proven track record extensive experience of calculating impacts at the local, regional and national levels and our team builds bespoke impact assessment models in order to accurately demonstrate benefits in a way that appropriately reflects the nature of investments and operations.

Our approach to EIAs ensures that the right information is gathered to accurately reflect activity, and so results in robust, comprehensive and evidence-based reporting of economic impacts that will be credible and stand up to scrutiny.  This expertise extends to demonstrating social and other community benefits, to present as holistic and detailed a picture of impacts as possible.

We find that impact assessments always require a good degree of skilled, professional judgement to fully understand the relationship between investment components and the local economy.  An ability to define local impacts is critical to demonstrating the importance of investments, interventions and operations.  Our particular blend of expertise and experience combines to deliver real insight for our clients.

For more detail on how we can help to demonstrate economic and wider social and community impacts for business case development, or as part of an evaluation for a project or programme, please get in touch with: