Dr Sharon McClements, Prof Martin Haran and Mr Andrew McErlane (Ulster)
Research has established that social infrastructure provision positively influences economic growth and social development, and a review of historical spending in NI indicates an identified need to upgrade and replace social infrastructure. Yet, as the UK Government continues to implement its austerity policies, the NI Executive has been subject to imposed budgetary cuts and as a result, capital budgets have been restrained. Against this backdrop, there is a necessity to review social infrastructure provision policies and the mechanisms by which it is provided in NI.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have been the predominant mechanism for large social infrastructure provision in the UK and will continue to be utilised through the new Private Finance 2 (PF2) model, introduced in 2013. Similarly, in the Scotland, the Scottish Futures Trust approach to infrastructure investment is based on joint ventures between the Scottish Territories and private sector partners. In providing the new NI Executive solution-based recommendations, this presentation deliberates on the application and compatibility of the strategic infrastructure investment approaches adopted by both UK and Scottish Governments as potential strategies for increased social infrastructure investment and the opportunity to enhance economic growth and social development in Northern Ireland.