SFT ‘focusing all energies' on ESA10

Exclusive: Scottish agency expecting ONS response in weeks; new housing models on the horizon for Scottish market

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) is focusing all its energies over the coming weeks on getting a resolution to the ESA10 accounting issues that have halted a number of projects, the agency’s deputy chief executive Peter Reekie has said.

Speaking at Financing Scottish Infrastructure 2015, Reekie said the agency is expecting a response from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in October or early November, adding: “All of our energies are focused on getting that resolution in the coming weeks.”

He continued: “It is something that I and my colleagues have spent the last year dealing with. It is important to go back and look at why we are doing what we are doing. Right from the start it has been about bringing additionality. That additionality equals value for money.”

However, while he is hoping that the ONS response will provide a solution to the issue, he admitted that he doesn’t know when it will be resolved for certain.

Reekie also confirmed that there will be “new models coming out” to support the delivery of additional housing. The SFT has previously suggested that its National Housing Trust model may not be used much more in the future because of changes in the market over recent years.

Meanwhile, Reekie added that although the agency currently does not have any more tax increment financing (TIF) initiatives on the horizon, it could do new TIF projects in the future. “We have learned from the TIF pilot projects,” he said.

He also said that the SFT will be focusing on digital infrastructure and developing its expertise in the delivery of broadband services over the coming year.

For a full write-up of the Financing Scottish Infrastructure event held in Edinburgh this week, see the November issue of Partnerships Bulletin