Partnerships UK prepares to go part-private

1 Mar 01
Partnerships UK, the Treasury-owned body set up to oversee joint ventures between the public sector and the business community, is itself to become a public-private partnership.

02 March 2001

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Smith has announced the sale of 51% of the government's equity in the company, which is being hived off to the private sector in an attempt to set up a £45m capital base for PUK.

PUK, which started life as the Treasury Taskforce, will use the money to develop its services and move into new areas of activity.

In addition to providing general advice on PPPs, it will also act as co-sponsor with public bodies on particular schemes, providing some of the project development costs.

More importantly it will take an equity stake in specific projects, in order to promote wider markets and innovative schemes that can be repeated elsewhere.

Smith said the sale would help the development of an already maturing market. 'By turning Partnerships UK into a PPP, the government is creating a key market opening for private sector shareholders, keen to seize the opportunity to help the public sector deliver modern, high-quality public services.'

The nine-strong board of PUK will work in tandem with an advisory council that has been set up by the Treasury to ensure the newly formed PPP remains true to its public sector mission.

Members include Peter Gershon, chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce, and Brian Briscoe, chief executive of the Local Government Association. James Stewart, chief executive of Partnerships UK, said the council would help ensure successful relations between PUK and public bodies.


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