Public Sector Plc: strategically adding value to land and property assets for the public sector Posted on: April 30th, 2021 Public Sector Plc partner with the public sector to strategically add value to land and property assets providing expertise, resource and innovative funding to get things done quickly. Following their involvement in our Greater Manchester Development Conference we’ve been speaking to the firms Chief Financial Officer Matt Ewing… Public Sector Plc works with local authorities across the country on a variety of property and land strategic asset management areas, how do you support their estates objectives whilst maximising revenue and savings? We work with our Partners as part of their team to achieve objectives linked to the Council corporate plan. We deliver strategic asset management solutions on publicly owned land and assets to support economic regeneration, the creation of employment opportunities, addressing the global climate emergency, and furthering placemaking in specific locations. There is no one size fits all with our partnerships, each partner has unique ambitions and through the establishment of a Public Sector Plc partnership we can be part of the solution for success. Commercially, we share the profits made through the added value we create on each project, whilst ensuring best value for the council and the best outcome for the community. How does Public Sector Plc maximise socio-economic benefit for communities and what social values underpin your work? With all of the projects we undertake in conjunction with our partners, one of the first questions we ask ourselves is: what tangible socio-economic benefits for the community are we targeting? Working with our partners to understand the desired outcomes, we set metrics to ensure we deliver those agreed outcomes, which could be job creation, the delivery of affordable housing or contributing meaningfully towards the zero-carbon agenda. At each gateway throughout our 4-stage approval process, projects are measured against relevant KPIs to ensure the deliverables are on track to be achieved. Could you highlight some of the recent success stories of your organisation and how have you been supporting your partners throughout the pandemic? During the last 12 months, Public Sector Plc has seen an increase in demand to support our public sector partners, with the profile of our pipeline projects evolving to reflect a post-Covid society. We’re now working on a number of developments which are very different to 18 months ago with the furtherance of the localism agenda, the creation of work/live environments and the rationalisation of existing asset portfolios held by local authorities all being consistent themes. You joined Public Sector Plc from working with the Covent Garden Market Authority, developing the UKs largest wholesale market, what lessons from that work are you taking forward? The experience at CGMA was invaluable. It really brought home to me the importance of ensuring all stakeholders were meaningfully involved in each stage of a major project such as the complex redevelopment of an iconic site, as well as using the governance framework in place to assist you in achieving that task successfully. Not always the easiest thing to achieve in practice but really fascinating, and directly very relevant for the consultative and inclusive business model that Public Sector Plc operates to add value for the public sector. How would you describe the progress of adopting Modern Methods of construction in Greater Manchester and how can that be intensified? I think the challenges implicit in the successful adoption of MMC techniques are pretty much universal in terms of geographical location, and my impressions are that Greater Manchester is a real hub of activity at present, which is to be expected given the ongoing growth in the City region. One ‘must have’ is a spirit of knowledge sharing amongst all stakeholders in a particular project, so that all parties in the value chain are sighted on the opportunities and risks involved and can pro-actively manage the process for success. Another would be the vital importance of being really clear on the brief to be addressed and the scope of a scheme’s design up front. This involves the early involvement of a design team and really close communication with clients and end investors – it’s always good to talk! Could you reveal some of the work Public Sector Plc has done with public authorities across the Greater Manchester Region? One major project we delivered in partnership with a GM borough involved transforming the quality of the assets and revenue streams associated with their commercial property freehold portfolio. This included the development of a major new office building in the centre of the town, now let to a University on a long lease – a real win-win for the community. This project combined intensive asset and development management expertise. Public Sector Plc has also ensured that the disposal of certain sites in the borough have been optimised to deliver a balance of financial gain and community benefits, as a Public Sector Plc / Council partnership can proactively target socio-economic outcomes via a land transaction. That is a model we have also employed elsewhere in the City region to good effect. How would you describe the Public Sector’s Plc experience chairing our first Panel on creating a Greener, Healthier and Smarter region at the Greater Manchester Economic Growth Development Conference? It was a real buzz facilitating a genuinely interesting conversation between such experienced people. I’ll be honest and say it was the first such experience I have had, and I’d also be fibbing if I said I wasn’t nervous beforehand, but once the debate got going, I relaxed and really enjoyed it. I’d definitely be up for doing it again – the whole event was really well put together by BEN.