Architects attack Marseille PPP plans

Unions of architects from across France have condemned the choice of the PPP model to deliver a schools project in Marseille.

The order of architects, in association with the confederation of artisans and small construction enterprises, Fédération CINOV, SNSO, the Bouches du Rhône syndicate of architects, as well as other construction players, have urged Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of Marseille, to abandon the PPP model to deliver 34 schools.

Parties involved raised concerns that the PPP model would “inevitably lead to extra costs for the taxpayer” and proposed the adoption of a traditional public works concession instead.

The dispute comes nearly two months after Marseille voted in favour of the PPP option to demolish and replace 31 schools with 28 buildings and deliver six new schools.

With a net value of €670.8m, the overall estimated cost of the project reaches €1.04bn including 70% of public financing. 

The city will pay €41m in annual rent to the selected firms in exchange for the construction and maintenance of the schools.

Signatories added they were willing to take legal action to revert the decision, which they claimed could jeopardise the local economy, with major construction enterprises being awarded the contract.

The city of Marseille has refused to comment.