Value of hub community projects up nearly 60%

James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh under construction

THE value of community-based projects either under construction or open that are being delivered through the Scotland-wide hub programme has increased 58% during the first six months of the 2014/15 financial year, and is supporting thousands of jobs.

The latest national ‘hub dashboard’, published by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) which manages the hub programme, highlights £465m of community projects are either being built or are open, compared to £294m in March 2014. The value of projects currently under construction is £323m and is supporting over 4,000 jobs in the construction industry.

SFT leads on the delivery of the hub programme which operates across five geographical territories in Scotland. In each territory, participating public bodies have teamed up with a private partner to form a new joint venture company which is developing and building a diverse pipeline of community infrastructure projects.

Major hub projects currently under construction include:

·        The £35m Inverness Royal Academy

·        Three NHS Lanarkshire Health Centres valued at £42m located in East Kilbride, Kilsyth and Wishaw

·        The £30m Harris Academy in Dundee

·        The £15m Johnstone Town Hall

·        The £34m James Gillespie’s High School

John Hope, the national hub programme director at SFT, explained,  “The hub programme is an innovative approach to deliver best-value community facilities which provides public bodies with a quick and efficient way of getting their projects into construction. With 84% of hub construction contracts being awarded to local SMEs, many thousands of local SME jobs are being protected.

“By the end of the financial year, the value of hub projects under construction or open will hit £1bn.”

NHS Lanarkshire chief executive Ian Ross said, “The hub programme is enabling us to build three fantastic health centres for the people of Lanarkshire. These developments will deliver more local health services in first class facilities designed to meet the changing needs of modern healthcare. The hub process has worked extremely well in Lanarkshire and we are on track to open the new facilities in 2015.”

Douglas Small, joint managing director of Ashleigh Building, added, “As a Tier 1 Contractor working in partnership with hub South West Scotland, Ashleigh Building remains committed to the delivery of employment and supply chain opportunities across South West and Central Scotland. This ongoing relationship has allowed us to develop our existing ‘Employment and Apprenticeship Programme’ as part of our wider role within the Territory.”