SFT targets place-based solutions to deliver net-zero infrastructure and inclusive economic growth

Peter Reekie, Scottish Futures Trust chief executive. Image: Phil Wilkinson.

Today (11 April 2022), the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) publishes its Business Plan for 2022/23 laying out its priorities for the year ahead.

Working with its many key partners from the infrastructure, construction and finance industries as well as local and central Government, SFT is focused on improving the economic, social and environmental outcomes from Scotland’s infrastructure.

For the year ahead, SFT will be:

  • Delivering public sector buildings that are greener in the construction phase and more energy efficient when in use.
  • Developing long-term financial and delivery models to accelerate new net-zero infrastructure that includes heat networks that can help reduce fuel poverty as well as delivering electric vehicle charge points for sustainable travel.
  • Collaborating on innovation in modern methods of construction for affordable, energy efficient homes to catalyse transformation in the construction sector as well as delivering quality homes for people and communities.
  • Leading a digital pathfinder project to deliver partnerships between mobile network operators and local authorities to increase economic benefits from improved 4G and 5G coverage.
  • Supporting place-based strategies and investment decisions that strengthen communities, requiring bespoke approaches to be developed in collaboration with partners ranging from Scotland’s largest cities to the islands.

Through these initiatives, and its wider programmes of work, as Scotland’s infrastructure centre of expertise, SFT is set to build on its track record of unlocking billions of pounds of private capital investment and leading delivery of education, healthcare, affordable housing and mobile communications programmes benefitting communities across Scotland.

SFT’s chief executive, Peter Reekie, said: “Despite the challenges of the past two years, significant progress continues to be made across Scotland and in many respects, the consequences of the pandemic have created further opportunities for sustainable economic growth and enabled a heightened focus on a net zero transition.

“With more than £11bn worth of construction projects in the Construction Forecast pipeline Tool and a wide range of other critical infrastructure projects underway to ensure we continue to develop resilient and sustainable places, we believe SFT and its partners are playing a central role in delivering sustainable economic growth for Scotland.”

Mr Reekie continued: “Our work to create the right infrastructure conditions for success that works for places across Scotland is being realised while also demonstrating how collaboration among like-minded organisations with creative use of funding sources is making a real and lasting difference.

“This collaboration is reflected across the hundreds of infrastructure projects and programmes that our teams at SFT are involved in throughout the country.

“Our teams at SFT, who work across 14 workstream activities, come from many different professional backgrounds and it’s their individual infrastructure expertise that help us to deliver the outcomes that SFT was established to pursue for Scotland.

“In the coming year, they are focusing on continuing to build on this culture of innovation and collaboration and making the most of the opportunities for sustainable economic growth and net zero transition.”

SFT has already made significant achievements across its diverse range of workstreams. Its hub programme alone supports more than 5,000 jobs, over 1,100 new apprentices, and has delivered over 120 education and 80 healthcare facilities, 20 housing projects and numerous other civic facilities, with 70% of public sector organisations active participants in the programme.

The supply chains serving the hub programme for community infrastructure development projects are also extensive with 80% of hub work delivered by Scottish SMEs which are widely considered the lifeblood of Scotland’s business landscape.