Case Studies

SFT Improves

Positive impact of improving use of public buildings

Across the public sector, there is a growing focus on “place” from where joined up public services can be delivered. SFT’s place experts help the public sector rethink how best their buildings can be used to enable joined up services, achieve better outcomes for communities, deliver efficiencies and savings.

And The Waid in Anstruther on the Fife coast typifies that approach. From the outside it looks like a new secondary school. But it’s what happens inside the building that’s creating a buzz in the local community.

When funding from the SFT-managed Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme was approved for The Waid, Fife Council took the bold and ambitious approach to re-examine the building’s purpose for the benefit of the wider community.

So bold was the review and with strategic support and guidance from our “place” experts, today the building boasts a first-class school with sports facilities (that the community use), a fully fitted out library (that the community use), a café (that the community use) and a range of meeting rooms (that the community use).

Not only all that, but the building is also used by the council and its partners to handle general queries from the public and to meet customers by appointment. The local elderly forum use the large meeting room on a regular basis to host their meetings and its members are able to access the café, library and council services while there. All this takes place while the school operates fully and without interruption to teaching. So far-reaching was the vision, that the school building also is used as a base for Police Scotland. 

And if you thought that was it, Fife College delivers a selection of courses from The Waid that avoids the need for students to travel. And Fife Council staff use the building’s drop-in hot desks that also reduces the need for local staff to travel and reduces space requirements in other council buildings.

The positive impact The Waid is having is being felt far and wide, with the principles behind it being adopted by many more public bodies across Scotland to deliver improved services and bring the local community closer together, while also achieving improved value to the tax payer.

SFT Improves

Improving outcomes of vacant Police HQ

Empty public buildings are a huge drain on public sector budgets due to the costs associated with ongoing maintenance and 24-hour security.

The sale of surplus properties not only stems the cash flow and delivers money back to the public sector, it also provides important opportunities to regenerate areas.

SFT’s surplus property team works closely with its public and private sector partners to bring forward properties ready for sale and re-development.  Once sold the sites will deliver many local benefits, including multi-million pound inward investment through new development to an area, job creation, improved quality of environment and, where appropriate, much needed new homes.

SFT was involved in the sale of the former Strathclyde Police HQ in Glasgow (a 1.4 acre site representing a whole block in a key part of the city centre) and supported Police Scotland throughout the sale process including appointing advisors, developing the marketing strategy, selecting the preferred bidder and gaining planning consent.

The purchaser, Moda Living, will now regenerate the site situated on Pitt Street, with its ambitious plans to create the single largest purpose-built Build to Rent (BTR) development in Scotland. The BTR sector has gained much momentum south of the border by providing high-quality, managed accommodation that increases housing supply and supports regeneration, and is now starting to be delivered in Scotland.

Tony Brooks from Moda Living said: “We’re bringing a new model of renting into the heart of Glasgow where the developer and landlord are the same and creating high quality housing that will help Glasgow attract and retain talent.

“Build-to-rent is undoubtedly the most exciting part of the UK housing market right now, and Moda is helping lead the way in Scotland with schemes in Glasgow as well as Edinburgh.”

Construction of the 433 luxury-home development will start soon and when complete will see the area transformed into a vibrant neighbourhood for 900 people with space for health and wellbeing, retail and multi-use outdoor areas.

With an estimated construction value of circa £120m that will support c.500 construction jobs, the Moda Living site is expected to deliver a massive economic boost to the area as well as act as a catalyst for further high-quality investment and residential development in the heart of Glasgow.

The Pitt Street site is one of a large number of surplus sites that are being developed for housing and it is estimated that over 3,000 homes (which includes provision for affordable housing) will be delivered on former public-sector sites sold as part of SFT’s disposals programme.

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