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SFT delivers significant results in face of pandemic

Scotland’s net zero economic recovery at core of its programmes


Infrastructure body, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), has performed a pivotal role in helping Scotland come through the pandemic from maintaining construction on essential building sites to launching an innovative forecast tool to support investment and jobs in the construction sector.

The full details are published in SFT’s latest Outcomes Report which underlines the progress that SFT and its many partners have made over the past 12 months including their work towards supporting Scotland’s net zero, place and inclusive growth economic recovery.

The online report also includes over 35 case studies, showcasing where SFT’s expertise has maximised the positive outcomes from Scotland’s infrastructure. Among them are:

  • Supporting the NHS with getting COVID vaccination centres up and running by managing the Scotland-wide community infrastructure hub programme which brings the public and private sectors together with the aim of delivering improved public services.
  • Developing and launching an online construction forecast tool that identifies an £8.5bn pipeline of future infrastructure projects which will boost the economy and improve lives across many communities.
  • Working with key partners, publishing the Net Zero Public Sector Buildings Standard to help public bodies meet their net zero commitments.
  • Seeing the first education project get off the ground (Wallyford Learning Campus in East Lothian) through managing Scottish Government’s new outcomes-based funding Learning Estate Investment Programme.
  • Ensuring as many construction projects remained on track through the hub programme by helping prepare a series of Scottish Procurement Policy Notes along with the publication of Scotland’s Construction Restart Guidance Note which has supported thousands of jobs.
  • Supporting with the rephasing of the Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Programme as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlocking £850 of private sector investment through SFT’s Growth Accelerator, leading to the opening of the Edinburgh St James Quarter and creating 1.7million square feet of retail and leisure space.

Peter Reekie, SFT’s chief executive said: “Much of our work over the past 12 months has been in helping lead through the pandemic. That work included the publication of a construction sector Recovery Plan and creating the online forecast tool to provide the construction industry with greater clarity and understanding of future public sector projects to be delivered across Scotland. The tool provides many business opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We also set out guidance on maintaining vital services from operational infrastructure projects. This ranged from assisting with getting vital covid vaccination sites up and running to looking at how public sector office workspaces will evolve in the years to come with the publication of our New Frontiers Report as well as publishing reports looking at the future infrastructure that will be needed to support electric vehicle charging and decarbonising the heating of buildings.

“It has been a year like no other and I’d like to thank everyone we work with for their extraordinary contribution in helping to continue to develop Scotland’s infrastructure despite the exceptional challenges.”

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said: “Organisations like SFT have played an important leadership role as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

"I want us to consider every opportunity for Scotland to manufacture as many of the construction materials we require as possible and I would encourage businesses to come forward and work with us to ramp up our own manufacturing supply chains.

“The Construction Leadership Forum is urgently exploring how we can grow home supply chains which can improve resilience, support net zero emissions ambitions and help create sustainable growth.

“We know that spending on construction has multiplier effects and creates additional value elsewhere in the economy. I want to see every penny of that outlay go back into the pockets of Scottish businesses as we rebuild a sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic.”