21 April 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The Highland Council and Mears, in conjunction with Alpha Schools (Highlands), have made additional agreements to their 30-year contract.
The new negotiations agree cost and risk reduction measures on the PPP Highland Schools project that are “set to deliver million-pound savings to the council over the life of the contract”, according to Mears.
Mears has worked in partnership with Alpha Schools (Highlands) and The Highland Council since the 10 new schools were opened in 2007, and is contracted to deliver the services for 30 years. With 20 years remaining on the project, the targeted cost reduction measures will “deliver substantial savings to the council, without compromising the quality of the total facilities management (TFM) services being delivered by Mears”.
Highland is the largest local authority area in the UK and the wide geographical spread of the schools requires Mears to implement innovative methods of planning and service delivery. Mears uses local sub-contractors to assist in the delivery of the works. Many schools also have facilities which are open to the public and act as community hubs – such as libraries, swimming pools, leisure centres, arts centres, adult education centres and offices.
The agreement ensures “the continued satisfactory operation and maintenance of each site with a set of additional agreements that safeguards The Highland Council’s financial risk in any given year”, states Mears.
Brian Porter, head of resources for care and learning within The Highland Council, said: “The improvements and cost savings in this new deal are significant and are the results of our close working partnership with Mears and Alpha Schools (Highlands).”