City Building has almost grown the amount it returns to Glasgow City Council by more than two thirds with over £9 million set to be reinvested in public services across the city, according to its annual results.
The construction firm was established as an arm’s length organisation (ALEO) by the local authority in 2006. The financial results for 2016/17 reveal the funds returned to the city council are up 71% on last year’s figures, after turnover rose to £219m compared with £208m the previous year.
This year’s return also represented a greater proportion of turnover, amounting to 4.1% this year compared with 2.5% the previous year.
The news comes after City Building, which employs over 2,200 people, entered a 50/50 joint venture with the Wheatley Group, the parent company of Glasgow Housing Association. The £3.7bn deal, which became effective on April 1 2017, will provide improved services to tenants and guarantee thousands of jobs including highly sought after apprenticeships.
City Building is the biggest employer of apprentices in Scotland and has recruited over 1,100 apprentices since the firm was established as an arm’s length organisation by Glasgow City Council in 1996. Research published last year by influential think tank the Fraser of Allander Institute has shown that 94% of City Building apprentices complete their qualifications compared with an industry average of 75%.
Dr Graham Paterson, executive director of City Building, said: “Despite challenging market conditions in the construction sector City Building has continued to grow and secure significant contracts in open competition with the private sector. We are pleased that our improved performance will help to support public services and create job opportunities across the city.
“Our success is a testament to our hard-working staff and apprentices and they should all be proud of their contribution to our strong results.”
City Building’s £250m contract to build or refurbish more than 111 schools and other educational facilities across Glasgow continues to make a significant contribution to its financial results. Among the new build facilities and refurbishment projects it is delivering are Avenue End Primary, Broomhill Primary School, Clyde Campus School, Glendale Primary School, Gowanbank Campus School, Silverdale Nursery, St. Rose of Lima Primary and Tower View Nursery.
The results also show that City Building’s manufacturing division RSBi achieved 8.8% growth with turnover rising to £27.2m from £25m. RSBi is Europe’s largest supported employer and half of its 260 staff have a disability. New projects secured in the past year include several commissions within the student accommodation market, furniture supply to the NHS, Scottish Prison Service and Scottish Fire & Rescue as well as a range of timber kits for various housebuilder clients.