Harper Macleod hails ‘hub’ infrastructure project successes as it brings £30 million Community Campus project to completion

Harper Macleod's Infrastructure & Projects team has advised on its latest major development with the financial close of the £30 million deal to construct the new Alford Community Campus near Aberdeen.

Led by partners Euan Pirie and Euan Mitchell, the Edinburgh-based legal team is at the forefront of advanced models for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, concluding deals across the UK worth more than £400 million since it was established by Harper Macleod just under 18 months ago.

Harper Macleod, one of Scotland's top five law firms, acts for hub North Scotland - part of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) hub process - a joint venture company that will deliver developments, such as Alford, worth up to £435 million over 10 years.  

Euan Pirie said: "Spending on infrastructure remains a crucial aspect of stimulating the economy, and the hub system is now delivering a steady flow of really good projects. It's a robust, collaborative approach which brings together all the partners and the supply chain to deliver some really exciting projects."

"The hub model is extremely streamlined, reducing the cost to the public purse and allowing major projects such as these to come to fruition relatively smoothly. Alford is a notable project due to the extent of the capital put into the project by Aberdeenshire Council, which further reduces long-term costs to the public sector.

"We've been incredibly busy over the past 18 months, working closely with hub North Scotland and other clients, and the pipeline of work continues to grow. It's great to play our part in bringing these projects - which are delivering a major boost to communities and the construction industry – to completion."

Angus Macfarlane, Chief Executive of hub North Scotland, said: "We are delighted to have reached Financial Close on this project with Harper Macleod, who have once again played a pivotal role, working in close partnership with hub North Scotland, our client and the supply chain to facilitate another successful result."

Alford, a full design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) project is hub North's first Scotland's Schools for the Future project – a £1.25 billion Scottish Government programme delivered by the Scottish Futures Trust – to close, with the firm also advising on further projects which are due to complete in the coming year.

The Alford Community Campus, to be constructed by Hub North Scotland (Alford) Ltd will house nursery, primary and secondary education facilities for almost 1000 pupils, with integrated community facilities including a library, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor sports and parking.

Work commenced in October 2013 under an enabling works contract with the buildings due to be open in time for the new term in August 2015.

The project saw Aberdeenshire Council making a significant capital investment, reducing the amount of private sector borrowing and the rent paid by the public sector. This model has to meet stringent EU regulations and Harper Macleod was instrumental in drafting the structure under which the council's capital contribution was paid.

Last month Harper Macleod, Legal Adviser to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, advised on another hub North Scotland project, the £11 million Bucksburn and Newhills Primary Schools replacement in Aberdeen.