Social security agency: central functions location analysis

Report setting out evidence base for making a decision on where the social security agency’s centrally based functions will be located.

2. Phase 1 of location analysis

The aim of Phase 1 was to establish if there are clear operational reasons why some broad areas may be unsuitable to locate the central functions of the agency. The analysis was relatively high-level compared to Phase 2.

In Phase 1, a number of Local Authority areas were ruled out based on quantitative evidence against two broad criteria: Ability to Recruit a Workforce, and Regeneration and Economic Impact. A total of 5 quantitative indicators were used to assess each Local Authority's suitability against these two criteria. These are shown Figure 3.

Figure 3 – Criteria and indicators used in Phase 1

Figure 3 – Criteria and indicators used in Phase 1

The areas that were not recommended for consideration at Phase 2 were the ones that were found to be too remote to allow the agency to recruit and where the case for regeneration or job creation relative to other areas is weaker.

Figure 4 below shows how the 32 Local Authorities performed against the two broad criteria. Full data and results for Phase 1 can be found in Annex A. The list selected for consideration was limited to those that had scores clearly above the median – those that were firmly within the green shaded area.

Figure 4 – Phase 1 analysis results

Figure 4 – Phase 1 analysis results

The top 15 Local Authority areas identified in Phase 1 were taken forward to Phase 2 for further and much more detailed consideration. These included:

  • The four biggest Scottish cities because they allow access to a large labour force which is required for recruiting staff for the agency.
  • Areas around the central belt due to population concentrations, access to labour in cities and regeneration needs.
  • Areas that underwent a weakening in economic performance most recently such as Aberdeenshire.

Table 1 below provides the full list of 15 Local Authorities that were selected for Phase 2 consideration and the 17 Local Authorities that were deemed not suitable.

Table 1 - Results of Phase 1 Analysis

Table 1 - Results of Phase 1 Analysis


Email: Leila Akhoundova,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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