Funding scheme found to have leveraged large construction projects

LARGE construction projects – such as in Haymarket, in Edinburgh, and also Edinburgh Park in the capital – have been in part supported by a regeneration investment fund, which has just reported.

According to a Scottish Government evaluation, some £519.1m worth of projects have been generated, thanks to 26 per cent of the financing coming from its Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres fund.

The fund has enabled several infrastructure and environment projects that align with Scottish Government key priorities – a list of some of the most recent, to be found here (albeit reported three years ago).

Says the government, here: “The Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) fund, originally set up using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), provided commercial loans to infrastructure and energy efficiency projects.”

And the evaluation has found, among other things:

  • The fund supported 18 urban development and energy efficiency projects which delivered a range of social, economic and environmental benefits across Scotland which would not have happened in the timeframe had SPRUCE funding not been available;
  • More than 5,100 jobs were created;
  • 88 enterprises supported;
  • More than 100,000 square metres of business space created or modified under the BREEAM (sustainability certification) classification; and
  • Around 11,000 tonnes of CO2 savings delivered from biomass projects in Glasgow and St Andrews.

The fund has now closed, with the Scottish National Investment Bank taking up the cudgels.

Says the evaluation report, here: “The operating structure of the SPRUCE fund has been self-financing, with interest earned on the loan book covering the fund management costs. There has been no further call on the public purse to fund the ongoing revenue costs of operating the fund which is another important and distinguishing feature.”

Pictured: Haymarket, Edinburgh, under construction, Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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