Scottish Futures Trust

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) is a executive non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government,[1] established in September 2008 to improve public infrastructure investment. SFT operates at arm's length from the Government but works closely with the public and private sectors to deliver value-for-money on all public sector infrastructure investment across the country. The trust has the aim of saving £100–£150 million each year through a wide range of activities.

Background

In their manifesto for the 2007 election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) proposed the Scottish Futures Trust as an alternative to PPP/PFI, encouraging greater use of public bonds, to access to lower-cost borrowing.[2] It was a solution conceived to allow the devolved administration to gain some leverage around private sector investment.[3]

Structure

As of July 2012 the trust has a £4 million operating budget.[4] There are a team of over 50 professionals at SFT, who have the responsibility of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure investment in Scotland.[5] It is run by a board of seven members appointed by Scottish ministers, headed by non-executive chairman Sir Angus Grossart.

Programme

The programme of work includes plans for 1000 homes, with work having begun on 600 of these by mid-2012.[4] Healthcare projects that have been achieved through the SFT include the £15m Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village which opened in 2013 and the new £150m Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh which is due to open in 2017.[6] The schedule includes a £1.25 billion schools programme.[4]

Reported savings

During 2009−10, SFT reported saving the Scottish taxpayer £111 million, which increased to £129 million in 2010–11.[7]

In 2011−2012, SFT reported helping to deliver £131 million of net benefits and savings to infrastructure investment with their calculations independently validated by Grant Thornton LLP and academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.[4] And in 2012/13, the benefits figure reached £132 million, bringing SFT's cumulative benefits to over £500 million.

When SFT was established in 2008, Scottish Ministers set it a challenging target of achieving between £100 - £150m of savings and benefits each year during its first, five-year Corporate Plan period.

SFT succeeded, as between 2009 and 2014, it secured £642m of savings and benefits.

During this 2014 – 2019 Corporate Plan period, SFT is working to secure a similar amount and is on track to do so with £135m delivered in 2014/15, £146m in 2015/16 and £138m in 2016/17.

Over and above its financial target, the impact of SFT's work generates many benefits that make a difference to peoples' lives, as it secures future employment; it creates new training and apprenticeship opportunities; it helps protect the environment; it expands access to superfast broadband, and it improves working environments by having flexible, well-designed buildings.

See also

References

  1. "Executive non-departmental public bodies". National Public Bodies Directory. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government. July 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  2. "Scottish Futures Trust cannot work just yet". The Scotsman. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  3. Gourtsoyannis, Paris (5 May 2014). "Follow the money - is PFI's replacement innovative?". Holyrood. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  4. "Scottish Futures Trust 'makes £131m capital spending savings'". BBC News. 11 July 2012.
  5. "About us: people". Scottish Futures Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  6. "Funding the future: New wave of NHS 'big build' projects". BBC News. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  7. "Stripping out the 'fat' saves £129m for taxpayer". The Scotsman. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
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