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Investment in the Scottish further education estate 1999‐2006

Anthony Andrew (Scottish Executive, Edinburgh, UK)
Ian Murning (Scottish Funding Council, Edinburgh, UK)
Michael Pitt (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Matthew Tucker (School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction

ISSN: 1366-4387

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The paper aims to examine the investment in Scotland's further education (FE) estate as an example of public sector capital investment. It looks at the sector's modernization, which has previously suffered from under‐investment, to provide a built environment that meets the educational requirements against a background of constrained resources.


The paper examines the historic legacy of the estate, the program to address the problem, issues arisen, solutions devised, assesses progress, and future development.


In 1999 the FE Estate in Scotland reflected decades of under‐investment. Local authority owners in the face of competing priorities allowed many buildings to deteriorate, often failing to meet modern health and safety requirements, wrongly configured, and sometimes incorrectly located. The investment program of the Scottish Funding Council has successfully started to arrest the deterioration in the estate, and in many places has achieved significant improvement through highly focused funding levering in substantial resources by way of commercial loans and recycled property receipts which have multiplied the impact of the SFC investment.

Research limitations/implications

The paper raises issues of how the public sector attempts to resolve competing policy objectives, with constrained resources and imperfect knowledge of future demands. Paper is descriptive with some analysis of problems and potential resolution. It highlights an opportunity for future quantitative work by researchers interested in optimizing capital allocation decisions under multiple constraints and imperfect knowledge by drawing attention to under researched source material in Scottish Government documents.


The paper presents fresh material on public sector capital investment. Primarily drawing on Scottish Government information sources, recent developments in the Scottish FE Sector are explained. Shows how the Scottish Government, its predecessor the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Funding Council have used modern tools of capital planning and estate management to improve the property legacy of a sector that has been short of investment for some decades.



Andrew, A., Murning, I., Pitt, M. and Tucker, M. (2008), "Investment in the Scottish further education estate 1999‐2006", Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 209-216.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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