Glasgow in £2.7bn housing deal with Wheatley

Glasgow City Council said a proposed new £2.7 billion partnership for 30 years between the local authority and Wheatley Group, the country’s biggest social landlord, would secure 2,000 jobs and more than 2,000 apprenticeships.

The joint venture between the council and the parent company of Glasgow Housing Association would see Wheatley Group taking a 50% shareholding in City Building Glasgow, the council’s “arm’s-length” construction company.

City Building is one of the largest construction companies in Scotland, employing 2,287 people, including 333 apprentices.

The structure of the joint venture would mean that City Building would carry out all Glasgow Housing Association repair work.

Other work would be carried out by City Building’s manufacturing division Royal Strathclyde Blindcraft Industries (RSBi), which is committed to providing opportunities for people with disabilities.

RSBi currently have 240 employees.

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This deal is a hugely important step that secures jobs, apprenticeships and training places, and future investment for the city.

“It will guarantee 30 years of work, worth £2.7 billion, in challenging economic times and generate a further £225 million for the city’s wider economy every year.

“Wheatley Group’s investment demonstrates how our partnership has worked over the past 13 years and the group’s complete confidence in City Building to continually deliver the quality and service they expect.”

Gordon Sloan, chair of Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and a director of Wheatley Group, said: “Our number one priority is to ensure our tenants and factored homeowners continue to receive an outstanding repairs service in the years ahead and the new joint venture gives us the best opportunity to do that.

“GHA and Wheatley have a strong and productive record of partnership working with City Building and Glasgow City Council and we look forward to building on that excellent platform in the years ahead.”

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is fantastic news for Glasgow’s economy as this joint venture not only secures thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, but also develops and retains these vital skills in the city, paving the way towards future growth and prosperity in the decades to come.”

The council said the £2.7 billion figure it placed the partnership is explained by the £90 million annual value of work involved over the 30-year agreement.

The joint venture proposal was approved by the Wheatley Group board on 24 February and will be considered by Glasgow City Council’s executive committee on March 3.