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Scottish Futures Trust outlines £131m savings

July 11 2012

Scottish Futures Trust outlines £131m savings
The Scottish Futures Trust, the non-profit body which supports government capital spending, has reportedly made savings of £131m over the past year by eschewing the use of expensive consultants.

The underspend was detailed in the Trust’s latest annual assessment and will be used to finance the construction of an additional 12 schools as part of the £1.25bn Schools for the Future programme.

Currently the body is engaged in the construction of 600 homes across 12 sites via private capital backed with guarantees of rental payments from the Scottish Government.

The SFT has developed a number of innovative financing and delivery mechanisms for public works, taking advantage of its scale to win preferential rates.

It was intended to act as an alternative to the Public Private Partnership model of financing, which can be expensive in the long term.
Amongst these innovations is the ‘Hub’ method of procurement which seeks to cluster the commissioning of public sector contracts and Tax Incremental Finance, which allows borrowing against future business rates to finance civic improvements.

Sir Angus Grossart, chairman of the Scottish Futures Trust, said:  “The Scottish Futures Trust has demonstrated significant progress in times of economic challenge.  Central to SFT’s success in delivering £131m of savings and benefits has been the strong strategic alliances it has established with local authorities, health boards and other public bodies across Scotland to collaboratively deliver value-for-money on public sector construction projects."


Sandy McAllister
#1 Posted by Sandy McAllister on 11 Jul 2012 at 13:45 PM
I really would like to find out who or what these "expensive consultants"are .
As for the 'Hub' method of procurement as far as I can see it is a very much a closed club.

Phil McCafferty
#2 Posted by Phil McCafferty on 17 Jul 2012 at 11:48 AM
I was supposed to be impressed by the SFT underspend but from a recent SFT/Hub update I attended recently the message was clear that if we build smaller/lesser in building terms the costs go down. It is clear that higher standards in building quality and size are being regarded as 'excessive' and we are to work down to a lowest common denominator for 'cost effective' solutions. I always thought that the Public Sector should set the standards for better quality, not fear exemplar or pilot projects, be an outward and proud use of public funds, attempt future-proofing by standards and flexibility, etc. That is how I want my public contributions to be used - am I alone?

Any monkey could tell you that building less will cost less so where is the innovative thinking and procurement? Convince me!
Alan Dunlop
#3 Posted by Alan Dunlop on 17 Jul 2012 at 12:29 PM
This is an age of philistinism, Phil. We just have to hope that when the economy recovers some balance is restored.
#4 Posted by Neil on 17 Jul 2012 at 14:07 PM
An age of philistinism, indeed Alan. Public Projects commissioned by accountants, jobs worth administrators and project managers with no interest in architecture.
Philip Stine
#5 Posted by Philip Stine on 17 Jul 2012 at 15:02 PM
The long on short of it is the public sector has no money and you want it to exacerbate the situation further

You didn’t think that years of squandering money on frivolous “arty” projects would go on forever did you ?

The “Goodwin” years are over, Its going to be a decade at least before things stabilise

Things will never go back to what you describe as “balance restored”

If it bothers you, then feel free to dip into your personal money to fund “Architectural Led Development”

My suggestion to you ......try Groupon
Sir Les Patterson
#6 Posted by Sir Les Patterson on 17 Jul 2012 at 15:34 PM
Could not have put that better myself.
psst we'll keep quite about the millions of public money that was and continues to be squandered on PPP
Proude to be a Nnuckle Dragger
#7 Posted by Proude to be a Nnuckle Dragger on 17 Jul 2012 at 15:52 PM
To feckin tru kICK THE ARCHITECTS up the A*rse. Leave in to the cooncillors, acountunts and project minegers
Philip Stine
#8 Posted by Philip Stine on 17 Jul 2012 at 16:28 PM
Im afraid its the harsh reality of our current situation
Proude to be a Nnuckle Dragger
#9 Posted by Proude to be a Nnuckle Dragger on 17 Jul 2012 at 16:46 PM
Feckin A RIGHT Phily boy!!!!!!!!!!.
Ps if anyone out in syberland is needn double glazing or solur panels, I've a special offer only fur yur area goin the noo.
#10 Posted by Neil on 17 Jul 2012 at 17:21 PM
#5 I thought you were being ironic and quite funny when you first posted. Your name and comments seemed totally matched. Now I think you're clearly a boor. What on earth has Goodwin got to do with the current situation facing the profession. Costing out the input of architects and designers is a false economy and will result in poorly designed public buildings that are not fit for purpose. I thought that was understood following the PFI debacle. Project managers or accountants cannot design public buildings, nor can architects do it on the cheap, although many sadly do. You may be one of those, if you are then you should be ashamed. You may be a project manager driving down costs at the expense of architects fees , if so then there's nothing I can say, you are what you are , a bottom feeder. Schools, Hospitals, Social Housing, Public Buildings must be well designed and for that an architects has to be involved and paid for their service. If not we're storing up problems for the future and passing on financial strain to our children.
#11 Posted by Aggrieved on 17 Jul 2012 at 18:22 PM
Neil, Homes Miller beat my practice on a new school at Kirkmichaelin Ayshire. Details have just been posted on public contacts scotland. Their fee for the whole design team was £108,000 when a fee of around £270,000 for the architects alone would have been reasonable given the size and complexity of the project. I see from their website they're loaded with Directors all experienced men no doubt, I wonder how many of them will work on it?
Philip Stine
#12 Posted by Philip Stine on 17 Jul 2012 at 20:16 PM

Yes name calling always helps

You keep dreaming about designing buildings you will never get to design

#Aggrieved Simple supply and demand economics
#13 Posted by Neil on 18 Jul 2012 at 12:32 PM
Groan, you are becoming a bore now as well as a boor. My practice has designed and continues to design award winning buildings. I cannot take credit for all of them but what I can say is the we never work on the basis of grinding out the lowest cost possible. Fortunatley we have clients that accept if you want excellence you have to pay for it. If you pay peanuts then as everyone knows you get monkies.

Philip Stine
#14 Posted by Philip Stine on 18 Jul 2012 at 15:28 PM
Yes indeed i agree with you

Just out of curiosity is there an Architectural practice in Scotland that don’t claim to be Award Winning Designers ?

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