A new £2.7 billion partnership between Scotland’s largest council and the country’s biggest social landlord, Wheatly Group, will secure thousands of jobs for decades, it has been announced.
Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety said the joint venture between the council and Wheatley Group, parent company of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), would remove an “incredible” level of uncertainty facing workers by securing 2,000 jobs and more than 2,000 apprenticeships in the next 30 years.
The new deal means Wheatley Group and the local authority each have a 50% share in the council’s arm’s-length construction body, City Building Glasgow, becoming partners and joint owners.
City Building’s repairs contract with the Wheatley Group was up for renewal in 2018 but will be replaced by the new joint venture, which is expected to be operational next year.
City Building will carry out all GHA repair work through a £33 million-a-year repairs service for Wheatley as well as doing the council’s own repairs, worth £30 million annually.
The new partnership will also take charge of GHA’s £27 million annual capital investment programme.
Mr McAveety said: “This deal provides security of employment for the existing workforce of more than 2,000.
“They were facing a tendering process which would have created an incredible level of uncertainty and this secures that long-term.
“It’s £2.7 billion to benefit the Glasgow economy. It’s a chance to maintain a top-quality apprenticeship programme and continue to offer supported employment for people with disabilities. This is a real chance to show that apprenticeships are still available in the city of Glasgow.
“The repairs work currently has a 93% satisfaction rate.
“People are happy with the work being done and we want to make sure that continues in the future and combining City Building with GHA we’re really putting together the big organisations to do exactly that.”
Gordon Sloan, GHA chairman and a director of Wheatley Group, said: “This secures the repairs contract for the next 30 years and it means we no longer need to go out to tender, and the expense and uncertainty of tendering.
“It’s a very positive development for tenants, they will know who is doing their work and the quality of the work, which is so high at the moment.
“From the tenant’s point of view, there won’t be a drop in quality and hopefully a seamless transition.”