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Urban Vision: helping Salford become a beacon in the Northern Powerhouse

Long before the phrase ‘Northern Powerhouse’ was coined, Capita and Salford City Council’s pioneering Urban Vision partnership was already looking at innovative ways to transform a key Northern City by generating both efficiencies and opportunities for growth.

Urban Vision, the joint venture between Capita, the Council and Galliford Try, was formed in 2005 as a 12/15 year partnership that is now to be extended to 2020. So what has been achieved in the first 11 and a half years of the contract, and what can we expect over the coming years?

Delivering for Salford

Urban Vision was the first partnership of its kind when it was formed. It aimed to harness the expert skills from across the property, planning, design and highway services, bringing together the best from both the public and private sectors.

Its key focus was to deliver savings for Salford City Council by generating efficiencies, while at the same time offering opportunities for income and growth for the authority.

These are just some of the touch points that highlight the success of Urban Vision so far:

BBC studios, Salford
  • £22million additional funding secured to complete highways improvement works across Salford
  • more than £3.7m has been generated for the Council from advertising on the highway initiatives
  • the Development Control service generated a fee income to the Council of £2.1m in 2015/2016. This was £1.26m over the Council’s expected budget income
  • delivery of an award winning Minerals and Waste Service that is now commissioned by many other local authorities across the UK
  • the property team has been working with Salford City Council to continuously develop and implement its property rationalisation strategy since the formation of Urban vision in February 2005, which has involved reducing the amount of Council buildings and implementing agile working arrangements. This entire exercise has realised over £3m in capital receipts and accommodation running costs have been reduced by an average of over £500,000 per annum since the year 2000
  • it launched a new pre-planning application service that is bringing in £50k per year additional income for the Council
  • through our coring service we have identified thousands of inadequate utility repairs saving the Council over £750k in highway repair costs
  • since 2005 Urban Vision’s property service has generated over £100m in capital receipts
  • more than 2,000 properties have been acquired on behalf of the council to assist the regeneration in Salford as part of the HMRF initiative
  • urban Vision, through the Construction Framework, has supported 500 Salford residents into construction work and 300 into construction apprenticeships
  • since the launch of our charity of the year Urban Vision have raised over £30k for local Salford charities.

Take a look at Urban Vision's key achievement infographic (pdf)

Legacy for the future

Urban Vision has been a valuable partner since we first formed the alliance. The partnership extension will provide further efficiency gains and more savings for the Council, without affecting service quality and performance. Working with our joint venture partners, we are committed to supporting the unprecedented growth within the City through the continued provision of excellent services on a ‘Salford First’ principle.

Jim Taylor

City director, Salford City Council

From building new schools, to fixing potholes, to redesigning major road junctions, Urban Vision’s influence is now being felt in myriad ways across the region; not least with the regeneration of Central Salford and helping make Salford a better place in which to live, work, visit and invest.       

And following the decision to extend the joint venture earlier this year, Urban Vision will continue to provide technical services to the Council, efficiencies, improved capacity and capability and access to new markets, as well as building its mission to grow and safeguard jobs for the city.

Over the coming years up to 2020, Urban Vision will help position Salford as a leading light in the Northern Powerhouse region.

What’s more, the partnership currently delivers services to over 240 clients across both the public and private sectors. It will continue to grow these commercial opportunities, delivering additional revenue for Salford City Council which in turn allows it to invest in and protect frontline services.

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