Armstrong announces ninth set of PFI deals

13 Apr 00
Labour reaffirmed its faith in the Private Finance Initiative this week when local government minister Hilary Armstrong unveiled 14 new schemes, totalling £300m.

14 April 2000

It brings the amount of PFI credits allocated since Labour came to power in 1997 to £2.5bn. Almost 130 projects have been given credit approval, of which 38 have reached contract-signing stage.

Speaking at CIPFA's annual quality forum conference in central London on April 12, Armstrong said: 'These projects, through the Private Finance Initiative, are bringing real improvements to the quality of life in local communities.'

Education, health and housing projects were all announced by the minister. A £26m scheme will replace or refurbish three secondary schools in Southampton, the first time the council has used PFI in education.

The London Borough of Newham has secured credits worth £30m to modernise up to 1,200 houses built in the 1970s. Also in the capital, the borough of Camden has approval for a £40m project to modernise residential tower blocks. And Northampton announced a £12m scheme to build four specialist centres for old people with mental health needs.

This ninth set of local government PFI projects shows the government's continued commitment to the initiative despite growing controversy over its benefits and costs. A government source told Public Finance that PFI still has a clear role to play in the government's plans to modernise public services.


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