PFI handback in the education sector - transitioning out of a private finance arrangement effectively


The Public Accounts Committee considers school PFI projects as particularly complex when it comes to contract expiry. Why is this? And how can schools be transitioned out of a private finance arrangement most effectively?

The very earliest contracts have expired, and some 200 will expire in the next 10 years. The private sector and the public sector will need to work together to ensure the successful transfer of these valuable assets back to the public sector. A smooth transfer should be in in the interests of all parties – the public sector will be keen to ensure contractual compliance, whereas SPVs will wish to avoid disputes dragging on beyond the expiry date.Join our guest panellists Tim Cooper, SPV Director of Bellrock Property and Facilities Management Limited and Project Consultant John Hargreaves together with Freeths’ PFI experts James Larmour and Frank Suttie in a webinar that will provide valuable insight into the road ahead for PFI projects in the education sector as they reach their contract expiry date.

Time: Thursday 8th July 2021Date: 10am - 11am

The panel will cover subjects that include:

  • Sector stakeholders and their engagement in the process;

  • What are the priorities for local authorities and schools as they prepare for handback?

  • What makes handback of an academy school different?

  • What issues might make group school handbacks challenging?

  • What will be the priorities for PFI providers and their FM contractors during handback?

  • What role should the DfE’s dedicated handback team take and what will make them most effective in that role?

Tim Cooper MIWFM SMICS - SPV Director at Bellrock

Tim joined Bellrock Property & Facilities Management in late 2020 as SPV Director. He brings to the table over 30 years property and facilities experience in both private and public sectors, having managed diverse and extensive school property and facilities estates across several markets. Tim’s success has been achieved in these diverse environments by ensuring functional leads and stakeholders are all involved in understanding the challenges and the objectives.Tim’s areas of particular expertise lies within the customer experience, culture change, asset management, portfolio compliance, contract mobilisation / re-mobilisation and PFI contract compliance.

John Hargreaves - Project Consultant

John has held senior operations positions within the FM industry and financial services industry. Additionally, holding non exec Director positions working in co-operative organisations setup by local authorities, and Chair, member and trustee of a large Multi Academy Trust.He works with MAT’s both on due diligence prior to school re brokers where PFI contracts are present and working with their executive and asset management teams to get best value from their PFI contracts.He has a Doctor of Business Administration from Sheffield Hallam University, where his research looked at the impact of short termism on value creation in public sector outsourced contracting.


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