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Agency restructuring in the Highlands and Islands : a preliminary evaluation of the Local Enterprise Companies

Black, Stuart (1993) Agency restructuring in the Highlands and Islands : a preliminary evaluation of the Local Enterprise Companies. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 18 (3). pp. 60-65. ISSN 0306-7866

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    In April 1991, the Highlands and Islands Development Board was replaced by a new agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise. This combines training and development functions in the region in a single agency. In addition a network of ten Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) was established, charged with the delivery of most of the development services. A similar process occurred in the remainder of Scotland where the Scottish Development Agency and the Training Agency merged to form Scottish Enterprise. Whilst there have been a number of studies focussing on the LECs, they have tended to focus on their internal operation and priorities, or on their relationship with other agencies, such as local government and the enterprise trusts (Fairley 1992, Hayton 1992, Wicks et al 1992). To date there has not been a study which focuses on the responses of the clients of the LECs to the new system. This study aims to help redress this balance.