Scottish Futures Trust ‘saved Scotland £132m’

Nicola Sturgeon says the savings allowed for better investment. Picture: Jane Barlow
Nicola Sturgeon says the savings allowed for better investment. Picture: Jane Barlow
Share this article
2
Have your say

The body set up to improve value for money in public infrastructure investment in Scotland said it saved the country’s purse £132 million last year.

The latest figures mean the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has met its financial target of releasing savings of between £100 million and £150 million a year for the fourth time in a row.

SFT said it has saved the public sector £500 million since it was established in 2008.

The SFT has been working with local authorities as part of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.

One of the projects it has overseen, the new Eastwood High School in East Renfrewshire, opens to pupils tomorrow.

It is part of a combined building programme with Midlothian Council which will see the opening of “twin” school Lasswade High next week.

The pilot scheme achieved savings of more than £4 million, SFT said.

Collaboration

Chairman Sir Angus Grossart said: “SFT has made remarkable progress in the relatively short period in which it has been operational, with the clear objective of delivering increased value on public sector infrastructure for Scotland.

“Central to SFT’s progress is that we have worked hard to establish strong strategic alliances with local authorities, health boards and other public bodies in Scotland. Those alliances allow SFT to bring additional investment and a strong professional ethos to help deliver public sector construction projects.”

SFT chief executive Barry White said: “The Eastwood and Lasswade schools are a perfect example of what SFT and local authorities can achieve through collaboration, and by having the courage to take an innovative approach to design, procurement and construction for the benefits of the communities the councils serve.

“Working like this means all parties reduce costs.”

Investment

Nicola Sturgeon, Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, said: “The savings SFT achieved last year, in collaboration with a wide range of public sector bodies, allow us to deliver more houses and schools and more health and community projects. The benefits of these savings to the economy are significant - every additional £100 million of investment supports 1,400 jobs in the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to maximise investment into infrastructure projects across Scotland.”

The Deputy First Minister said that the work of SFT was “vital” for giving taxpayers a good deal and providing more high quality infrastructure across Scotland but added: “There is no question that cuts imposed on us by Westminster are impeding our efforts to support infrastructure investment and jobs.”