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Real Estate


Developing strategies for the sale and reuse of surplus public sector buildings and land to secure financial returns to the public sector

With public sector resources having to go further, selling surplus properties and land presents the public sector with major opportunities that can bring in much-needed capital and secure inward investment that support local jobs.

Our Real Estate team provides strategy and delivery options to a wide range of public sector bodies.  The approach seeks to secure capital receipts and savings to the public purse (avoiding ongoing costs associated with managing vacant properties), as well as help unlock complex or stalled development projects that can deliver significant economic and place-based outcomes.

Our team works with property teams of public bodies in addition to core Scottish Government teams, and the wider stakeholder landscape in the property market. 

Our work is primarily focused on the following programmes:

Since the start of the programme in 2014, over 160 properties have been sold by NHS Boards, Colleges and Police Scotland generating capital receipts of more than £214m, with the release of sites enabling almost 10,000 homes to be built, generating an estimated direct GVA of £929m per annum.  

The team works with public sector partners on the delivery of their property disposal programmes, focusing on the sale and repurposing of land and buildings that have been identified as surplus. 

The portfolio of assets is varied in scale, complexity, value, and geography, with a significant number of them having a heritage dimension and securing viable future uses and investment in Listed buildings has been an important focus for the work.

The benefits of the work are not only financial but also provide opportunities for place-making, economic investment and wider outcomes for the public sector. There are opportunities for approaches with a greater emphasis on local place-making, Community Asset Transfer and public-to-public sector disposals. 

In addition, we work with public bodies on assets that are likely to be surplus, helping to develop and shape the strategies for their sale often with significant lead-in times for complex assets. We are assisting several health boards to develop strategies for the re-use of heritage sites either to serve clinical or other healthcare support or to dispose of them, for example working with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on heritage assets at Gartnavel Hospitalodp.   

There is a focus on encouraging the public sector to adopt best practices in planning for the future use or disposal of their assets as taking a joined-up approach to service planning and investment decisions (Asset Strategy Guidance 2022) 

Many parts of government and public bodies are now reassessing and reducing their occupational property footprint post-COVID and considering options to co-locate. This will lead to further disposals and opportunities for placemaking, communities and improvement in net zero targets through reuse and investment. 

The team has assisted public sector partners (including Scottish Government Economy; DITI; Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Cities Alliance) on complex or stalled property development-related projects which will unlock and deliver significant economic outcomes.  

We work with the public and private sectors on developing investable propositions capable of attracting inward investment/international investment, including the identification of alternative delivery mechanisms, funding/financing or partnering strategies.

This work has strong links to key themes and priorities in Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan, particularly related to inclusive economic growth, with a focus on delivering additionality of investment and accelerating appropriate development activity and building resilient and sustainable places.  

The team also provides input to frameworks and panel meetings for the selection of projects suitable for key funding opportunities through Scottish Government initiatives, such as the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, the Place Based Investment Programme, the low carbon Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme and the Town Centre Demonstrators work. 

Our team


Paul Devine

Senior Associate Director

Paul leads the Real Estate team and has a background in commercial, residential property development and investment working in both the private and public sectors for over 35 years.  


Anna Tozer

Associate Director

Anna is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years' experience of working with the public and private sectors on redevelopment projects, regeneration, property portfolios and site disposals.  She joined SFT in 2013 and is an Associate Director in the Real Estate team. 


Alan Bell

Associate Director

Alan is Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years' post qualification experience; specialising in commercial and residential development and asset management and has worked across the UK, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East, in both the public and private sectors.

He joined SFT in 2016 and is seconded to the NHS boards in Glasgow and Lanarkshire to support their ongoing asset disposal programme.


Pamela Grant

Associate Director

Pamela is a Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years' experience in property development and asset management.

Her expertise includes master planning, project viability, design and funding and general advice on unlocking development opportunities in all sectors of the market.