The move away from the mixed economy, introduced by the Labour government after 1945, to a greater emphasis on private sector, introduced by both major parties from the 1980s onwards, has radically altered the way that every part of the not-for-profit sector operates, from healthcare to education, defence and resource management.
These groups are increasingly expected to operate and be measured like the private sector, while being constrained by the expectation that service to the public and the Crown must come before financial considerations. Not to mention that all of this must come from a shrinking public purse.
We have worked with innumerable schools, colleges, and universities, to supply a wide range of engineering services, sometimes on a framework basis. Replacement and new build schools have to be designed and built to meet rigorous sustainability guidelines. Universities now operate in a consumer-driven marketplace and need to shape their offerings to suit demand and to meet the aspirations of students who increasingly see themselves as fee-paying customers and demand value for money.
Demands on the NHS increase as public expectation over health and lifestyle outstrip the national desire or even ability to pay for all of the possibilities that new technology and drug treatments can bring. At the same time much of the NHS's built environment is ageing and expensive to maintain in the face of rising energy costs. Hospitals look to us to help them work within their commercial constraints to create safe and comfortable places to work where focus on the patient is of primary concern.
Organisations and institutions with significant land holdings are under increasing pressure to utilise these resources as a way of creating sustainable energy, reducing their carbon footprint, and lowering their expenditure. To this end we have carried out UK-wide strategic reviews of sustainable energy opportunities for the Ministry of Defence and The Crown Estate.