THE success of Scotland’s hub Programme has been highlighted in a new report, which confirmed that since being established ten years ago, it has delivered in excess of £2.2 billion investment in around 200 projects.
EKOS, an independent economic and social research practice, found the programme has delivered ‘substantial’ social impacts and community benefits. Of particular note has been the role the programme has had in encouraging community benefit clauses in construction contracts for hub, and subsequently non-hub projects.
The hub Programme is a Scotland-wide partnership model that brings public and private sector bodies together to deliver infrastructure in five regional areas through their respective hubCos – the South East, North, East Central, West and South West. Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) developed and manages the programme.
There is a further £1.2 billion of investment in the pipeline, either at the project development stage or under construction supporting a further 8,500 construction-related jobs annually.
David MacDonald, national hub programme director at SFT, said, “The level of construction activity delivered through the hub Programme has exceeded £2 billion with public services now being delivered from high-quality buildings underpinned by a strong track-record of quantifiable and qualitative benefits being achieved.
“To have maintained such solid support after ten years is a major achievement in itself, demonstrating that stakeholders continue to have high confidence in the hub programme’s future. Reflecting the clear and consistent feedback from stakeholders, the core recommendation of the review is that hub should continue to operate as a national programme, delivering community infrastructure projects through the five hubCos. There is also a desire to see it evolve and take a pro-active role to further advance Scottish Government’s three principal policy objectives of net zero carbon, place and inclusive economic growth.”
Scottish Government finance secretary Kate Forbes said, “I welcome the findings of this evaluation report and recognise the valuable role that the hub programme played in delivering much needed new schools, new NHS facilities and other key infrastructure. The hub programme has achieved a great deal in the past ten years through forming effective partnerships between the public and private sectors. I look forward to that collaborative approach continuing, to deliver the community infrastructure we need while supporting jobs, apprenticeships and Scottish SMEs.”
Other positive benefits identified in the report include:
- Projects deliver a better end-user experience
- Higher end-user staff satisfaction/retention
- Better integrated community infrastructure activity and service outcomes
- Improved cost and time certainty achieved for public sector (procurement, delivery and operational)
- Value for money achieved in community infrastructure project activity
- Environmental gain – a better understanding of the need to reduce the carbon footprint
- Productivity gain – an uplift from people with improved skills plus enhanced employability (construction community benefits)
- Public sector gain – a better reputation in market for efficient procurement
- Private sector gain – a better understanding of market requirements and ability to resource accordingly for anticipated demand