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Cross boundary PFIs gather momentum

A glut of multi-area Private Finance Initiative contracts spread across two or more local authorities are set to be approved by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Joint working across local authority boundaries is increasingly favoured for PFI procurement, experts told NCE this week.

The DfT recently awarded PFI credits to Oldham and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Councils for a 25 year, £140M street lighting PFI. This is the third PFI joint working street lighting contract. It follows one in Newcastle and North Tyneside and one in Barnet and Enfield. More joint working contracts are expected in:

- Croydon and Lewisham;

- Southampton, West Sussex and Hampshire;

- Cambridge and Northampton.

"There has certainly been a drive by DfT to get local authorities to collaborate where possible," said Mouchel project director Rob Dawson, who will manage Oldham and Rochdale's contract. "The bigger the scheme, the more options there are to make available savings and efficiencies to make it commercially more attractive."

Three contractors will be shortlisted at the end of November for the Rochdale/Oldham PFI. The shortlist includes Amey, Balfour Beatty, the Community Lighting Partnership (EON/PellFrischmann/Land Securities), The Northern Lighting Partnership (D Webster/Bethells), and SEC (Scottish Southern Electricity/Bank of Scotland).

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