Infrastructure Sector - This sector continues to be a potential growth area, but is very much dependent on the UK and Scottish Governments bringing forward investible projects and being able to fund them.
Liquidity for financing these projects still seems good, but that may come under pressure as the European Investment Bank contemplates whether to withdraw from the UK.
Innovative financing structures will be needed. We were delighted to advise Aberdeen City Council on all aspects of its recent £370 million rated and listed bond issue to enable it to part-fund a £1 billion capital investment programme to be delivered over the coming years. This was the first major UK local authority-listed bond issue, and provides a template for future issues.
The challenge for public bodies is to leverage their own capital spending capability with long-term funds brought in from the private sector. Aberdeen has managed to do this particularly well. Our investment in infrastructure – The start of 2017 brought news of two significant partner hires for Brodies in this area.
Drysdale Graham, an experienced and well-known UK corporate projects lawyer who recently delivered the Aberdeen Harbour extension project, is joining us shortly.
Chris Dun, widely regarded as a leading lawyer in housing finance, is also joining us to help drive our housebuilders practice in light of the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans for new housing development covering all types of tenure.
These appointments underscore our intention to remain at the leading edge of Scottish infrastructure over the coming years.
Farewell to Airdrie Savings Bank – After 182 years and having survived the 2008 financial crisis, the UK’s last remaining independent savings bank is closing its doors. Supported in the past by Stagecoach founders Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, it has finally decided that the low interest rate and increased regulatory environment means that it cannot remain viable. Ten thousand current accounts and 40,000 deposit accounts will be transferred to alternative banking providers