Prime plc pioneers new NHS funding model and closes £47 million of NHS property deals 11 January 2010

Prime plc has reached financial close on two major NHS development contracts in recent weeks, as well as developing a new finance model which will enable PCTs to combine NHS capital and private finance to fund developments, despite funding gaps or budget shortfalls.

The new Shared Investment Agreement (SIA) pioneered on the redevelopment of St Catherine’s Health Centre enables NHS Wirral to contribute 55% of the cost of the development, with the remaining 45% provided by Prime plc. Using a new form of property contract, which protects the assets of both parties, Prime has been able to secure funding from Aviva and has attracted strong interest in the model from other Strategic Health Authorities around the country. The model would enable PCTs facing capital shortfalls to progress key development projects under a financially viable and secure agreement.

By using this new funding model NHS Wirral will be able to redevelop the eight acre Church Road site in Birkenhead, creating a substantial 11,100 sqm four storey centre. This will improve patient care in Wirral by replacing a range of former workhouse and sanatorium buildings from the 1800s, with modern healthcare buildings and services.

Prime plc has also just reached financial close on the £15 million Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing Centre with partners NHS Birmingham East and North and BaS LIFT Co, with funding from Aviva. Another ground-breaking development, it pioneers several service innovations as well as a wide range of GP led primary care services. The centre also leverages the government’s £250 million Equitable Access to Primary Medical Care (EAPMC) programme to expand GP provision to 6,000 new patients in this under doctored area.

Richard Laing, Group Chief Executive of Prime plc commented: “It’s excellent to be able to demonstrate that there is still an appetite from financial institutions for public sector projects. There is obviously still risk aversion in the mainstream market, but if you bring together a forward thinking PCT, a very sector-experienced funder and a property expert to broker those relationships you can get deals like this done.”

Doug Baker, Project Director for NHS Wirral, said “We are pleased to have reached financial close on the new St Catherine’s Health Centre building. It will turn the site into a major new hub of health and wider care services for Wirral. The Shared Investment Agreement (SIA) has helped us to generate the funding needed to redevelop this site.”

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