Work begins on community hub
Enterprise Minister Jim Mather today marked the start of construction on a new project supported by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and Scottish Government.
The Minister was joined by representatives of SFT and the City of Edinburgh Council for a ground-breaking ceremony at Rannoch Terrace, Drum Brae, Edinburgh, where a new library, day care centre, youth café and community facilities will be built.
It is the first of six projects being taken forward as part of the South East hub territory - a programme which brings different public bodies together with a consortium of private sector organisations to deliver better public buildings and enhanced public services with greater value for the public purse. Four other hub territories are being developed across Scotland which together will deliver around 1 billion pounds of community infrastructure over the next 10 years.
Mr Mather said:
"The start of work on this project is terrific news for people in the Drum Brae area who have long campaigned for these facilities. A construction project of this kind has the added benefit of helping to drive economic growth and boost construction sector employment.
"The Scottish Futures Trust is firmly focused on delivering greater value for the public purse through capital investment projects of this kind. In its first full year of operation SFT achieved 111 million pounds of net benefits and savings - a superb outcome. It has taken the hub initiative under its wing, and has been working hard with the City of Edinburgh Council and local partners to deliver what will be the first project under the hub initiative in Scotland.
"It shows what can be achieved when different organisations come together with the common goal of improving public services. With more hub projects in the pipeline, the Government looks forward to seeing more Scottish communities reaping the benefits of improved community facilities throughout the country."
City of Edinburgh Council Leader Jenny Dawe said:
"This is a historic moment for the local community in Drum Brae, who have been campaigning for almost two decades now for a library in their area. This Administration is delighted to have been able to match a local need for a new day care centre while responding to the demand for a library. The new facility will be a modern, fully-equipped and accessible community 'hub'. The next few months will be very exciting for the Drum Brae area as we see this fantastic centre begin to take shape."
Colin Proctor, Accommodation Director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said:
"I am delighted that the first hub project has started building in Drum Brae. The Scottish Futures Trust is managing this exciting national programme which will deliver better public buildings and provide better public services for communities right across Scotland."
Construction on the project will be completed by November 2011 and open for the public in 2012.
The hub initiative promotes and encourages public bodies to work together to deliver better public buildings and enhanced public services for communities across Scotland. The joint working relationships that are created through the initiative provide increased opportunities for joint service and joint asset management planning. This can leverage significant added benefit vis-a-vis value for money and a fit for purpose public sector estate.
Five hub territories are being developed across Scotland - South East, North, East Central, West and South West. The operation of each territory is governed by a Territory Partnering Board which comprises representatives from each of the public sector participants who have signed up to engage with the initiative. The public sector participants within each hub Territory will collectively run their own procurement process to find a partner.
hub South East operates for the benefit of the communities served by City of Edinburgh, Scottish Borders, West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian councils. Joining those authorities in partnership are: NHS Lothian; NHS Borders; Lothian and Borders Police Board; Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service Board; and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
hub South East is the first territory to go live and expects to bring forward projects worth approximately 300 million pounds over the next 10 years. Other projects currently being developed are the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, Gullane Surgery and Day Care Centre, Firrhill Health and Social Care Centre, North West Edinburgh Partnership Centre and Blackburn Partnership Centre.