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A new impetus for infrastructure?

5 December 2012

To date, the partnership industry has been less than excited by the new opportunities on offer to replace those which were lost: amongst others, the cancelled Building Schools for the Future programme.

However, £1.75 billion of funding for schools under the Priority School Building Programme was recently announced. Added to this, detail on the much heralded, "son of PFI" was released as part of the Chancellor's autumn statement along with news of a number of specific projects. This is far from "Plan B" for the economy but the partnership industry will welcome any apparent new focus on capital projects as a way to stimulate the economy.

The legal approach is also encouraging. The most eye catching shift in emphasis is from pure risk share, to "reward share", with the public body effectively acting as co-investor. If this does indeed offer a genuine route to much needed investment in infrastructure, enterprising public bodies and contractors alike are likely to relish the prospect".

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