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PFI IS HERE TO STAY BUT ROAD SCHEMES NOT SCHOOLS ARE ATTRACTING INVESTMENT

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Private finance initiative schemes have now raised£11.2bn for education, transport, health and other projects, rep...
Private finance initiative schemes have now raised£11.2bn for education, transport, health and other projects, reports the Independent (p22).

But the spread of finance has not been equal with only£500m financing school projects compared with£6bn for transport.

PFI involves a private sector consortium, made up of usually a contractor, a financier and an operator, signing a long-term contract to build, fund and operate a public building.

In return a local authority or government department agrees to rent the building and pay an annual fee to the consortium.

PFI's profile was raised yesterday as private investors were given the go ahead to build the government's new spy base.

A consortium including Tarmac, BT, Group 4 and Deutsche Bank have signed a£300m 30-year contract to build the new Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

The base, dubbed the 'doughnut' because of its shape, will be either built at the existing GCHQ base near Cheltenham or a proposed site at Gloucester.

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