What will 2024 bring?
2024 is set to be a big year, so what opportunities will it hold for our industry?
With a general election imminent, we expect there to be more dialogue regarding the UK’s public sector infrastructure, from schools, to health facilities, to roads and decarbonisation infrastructure.
We’ve got a long and proven track record of working in partnership with the public sector, and we’ve delivered many successful public private partnership (PPP) projects, which are still delivering benefits for the communities they serve.
From the early 1990s, when we built and managed Victoria Dock Primary School, the UK’s first PFI primary school, to our current investment in Hull’s LIFT estate of 13 health centres, our partnerships with the public sector have meant the public can access greater education choices and better healthcare facilities.
Hull’s Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre has been raising the profile of the city on an international stage, with a recent article in the New York Times praising it as a trailblazer for a new way of social care, and showing how private and public sector services can come together to create something which can disrupt traditional ways of tackling problems such as frailty management.
Across our geography, we are seeing devolution deals that will bring more local decision making and funding for much needed public services.
Infrastructure strategies are also becoming a priority in 2024. As we expand across the north of England, we’re already working with NHS Trusts and Local Authorities to help plan their infrastructure strategies, allowing them to design and manage their estates so they’re fit for the future.
Partnering can offer a different approach to new and refurbished infrastructure. Working together, partners can explore an open book approach to risk management, project design, funding, delivery and ongoing management of assets. This can make a huge difference in the current economic climate where there is so much uncertainty. We believe our track record of working hand in hand with our public sector partners speaks for itself in terms of well maintained public buildings that can adapt and flex as our customers need. Whatever the future outlook for the UK, we will need to dramatically review the standards and sustainability of our public estate and find news way to ensure that it meets the needs of our changing population.