Taxpayer gets ‘good value for money’ from EEDA

THE East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has demonstrated good value for taxpayers’ money and is having a positive impact on the economy, according to an independent report.

The PA Consulting Group and SQW report drew on evaluations of over 60 per cent of EEDA investment between 2002-07. It found that for an investment of £142 million, between £525 million and £820 million of wealth has already been created for the region. This represents a return on investment of £3.70 to £5.80 for every £1 invested – with a mid point of £4.75.

With future benefits of projects and programmes taken into account, EEDA’s contribution to the regional coffers would be worth between £874 million and £1.3 billion. This would represent a return on investment of between £6.10 and £9.10 for every £1 invested – with a mid point of £7.60.

EEDA chairman Richard Ellis said: “This independent report from PA and SQW clearly shows how we are benefiting businesses and communities right across the East of England and providing good value for money for the taxpayer.

“Whilst we are pleased with the findings, we clearly recognise that the economic environment in which we are operating has changed and there is no room for complacency. We want to learn from the report in order to do even better in future. As a result we are continuing to adapt our programmes to respond to the needs of businesses to help them through these tough economic times.

“We are a business-led organisation, and our knowledge of business enables us to effectively lead the economic development of the region, bringing together public and private partners to deliver the positive results set out in this report today.

Despite being the lowest-funded regional development agency in England the report says EEDA has evolved to tackle the challenges faced by the East of England.

Mr Ellis added: “The evidence is that we are having a positive impact on the economy, despite our relatively small budget, bringing a significant amount of wealth for the region compared to what we invest. The report concludes our targeted programme of investment has borne fruit and will continue to do so.

“The report is a clear testament to the commitment and hard work of all partners working together to address the challenges the East of England economy faces.”