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Joint working proves its worth

Small firms are big winners in hub contracts initiative

SFT hub graphic

Small firms are the major beneficiaries of a collaborative venture set up to deliver key public sector projects, according to the latest statistics.

SMEs have been awarded 78% of contracts through “hubCos” which are made up of community planning partners on public boards working alongside private sector partners.

The Scotland-wide initiative is led by the government-backed Scottish Futures Trust which aims to deliver projects valued at more than £2 billion over its first 10 years.  Schools, health centres and transport facilities are among the developments that have been funded.

David MacDonald, hub programme director at SFT, said: “The hub programme is an innovative approach to develop and deliver best-value community facilities which provides public bodies with a quick and efficient way of getting their projects into construction.

“The benefit of using hub as the preferred delivery partner is reflected in the huge increase in projects under construction.  With 78% of hub construction contracts being awarded to SMEs, many thousands of local jobs are being protected.

“We see this momentum continuing as there’s well over £900m of community projects still in the early stages of development which are due to start on site in the next 12 to 24 months though our ever growing pipeline of work.”

Mike Burrows, director or Fleming Buildings, based in Lenzie, Glasgow said: “Being an SME, the opportunities available through hubCo has given long term security to our existing workforce and has enabled us invest in apprenticeships and provide new employment opportunities.

“At the same time it has given us a platform to deliver community benefits through collaborating with the local schools & colleges.”

John Moore, construction director for Border Construction, stated:  “As an SME based in the Scottish Borders, we’re proud to be part of these hub projects. Our involvement in a joint venture with hub’s Tier 1 Contractor, Morrison Construction, is helping sustain local employment and local spend, which benefits the communities we work and live in.”

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “We have made considerable progress in delivering value for money infrastructure projects for communities across the region.  In the last year we have more than doubled the number of projects that have reached financial close to 15 and have a total of 42 projects, valued at over £500 million, in various stages of development.

“Our team continues to work closely with participant organisations to ensure that every project is delivered to the highest quality, meeting the needs of the community and achieving best value.”

A selection of projects under construction being delivered by the five hubCos are:

South East hub

Royal Edinburgh Phase 1 – £42.5m

James Gillespie’s High School – £33.9m

Galashiels Transport Interchange – £5.1m

North hub

Alford Community Campus – £26.2m

Inverness Royal Academy – £35.4m

Wick Community Campus – £48.5m

East Central hub

Levenmouth High School – £37.2m

Harris Academy – £30m

Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery – £9.1m

West hub

Eastwood and Maryhill Health Centres – £25.3m

Clydebank Leisure Centre – £21.2

South West hub

NHS Lanarkshire Bundle – £43.5m

Greenfaulds High School – £31.8m

Cumbernauld Community Enterprise Development – £8m

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