AWPR to be delivered on time and on budget

Thursday 18th March, 2015, Aberdeen, Scotland. Greenwell Equipment have supplied the AWPR headquarters which is going up just north of Stonehaven. ''Pictured: The Modular offices for AWPR''(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

Thursday 18th March, 2015, Aberdeen, Scotland. Greenwell Equipment have supplied the AWPR headquarters which is going up just north of Stonehaven. ''Pictured: The Modular offices for AWPR''(Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

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The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project will be classified to the public sector, following a review by the UK Office of National Statistics.

The Scottish Government will now give further consideration to the contractual arrangements that apply to the AWPR, with a view to securing a private sector classification.

The decision has no impact on the cost or project timetable and the AWPR is expected to be completed on time and on budget.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has advised the Scottish Parliament that, following recent updates to European statistical standards, ONS has completed its review of the AWPR and has given the project a public classification.

Mr Swinney has committed to reporting further to the Scottish Parliament early in the next term.

He Said: “This is a statistical accounting classification and has no impact on the cost or delivery timetable of the AWPR or the two NHS projects that the ONS has also indicated it will review.

“We fully expect these projects to be completed on time and on budget – as they are currently on track to do.

“Infrastructure investment is at the heart of our economic strategy – delivering jobs, increased economic activity and productive assets of benefit to the people of Scotland.

“The programme of revenue-financed NPD/Hub projects has played an important role in maintaining investment – with two projects worth £29 million completed and another 18 under construction.

“Each additional £100 million of public sector capital spending in 2015-16 is estimated to support around 1,000 full time equivalent Scottish jobs, just over half of which are in the construction sector.

“This decision published by ONS, means we need to give further consideration to the contractual arrangements that apply to the AWPR, with a view to securing a private sector classification.

“I have instructed Scottish Futures Trust to engage with ONS and other parties to clarify the detailed points of interpretation that have underpinned the decision and their potential implications.

“I have updated Parliament at key stages of this process and I will do so again at the earliest available opportunity following its summer recess.”

The classification decision comes after ONS reviewed the status of the AWPR in response to a new standard and associated technical guidance on National Statistical Accounts (the European System of Accounts, or ESA 10), produced by Eurostat and taking effect across the European Union from September 2014.

The guidance relates to the factors that are taken into account when considering whether a body or asset is controlled more by the public sector than the private sector.