AMEY - Belfast Metropolitan College – Payment Mechanism







Client Details:

The project involved the building and operation of a new college campus building in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast and was undertaken under a PFI contract.

Belfast Metropolitan College is Northern Ireland's largest tertiary level education institution, and was opening its new Titanic Quarter campus in September 2011. The new campus, which replaced the Institute's current facilities at Brunswick Street and College Square East, provides facilities for up to 18,000 full time and part time students. The new building is located within close proximity to the Odyssey complex and has a capacity for 2,500 full time students at any one time.

This landmark four storey building, rising to five storeys at the front, offers 21,000 square metres of space centres round a large courtyard.

BMC is working in partnership with Ivywood Colleges which is a consortium comprising Titanic Quarter, Patton Construction, Ulster Bank, Amey and Todd Architects.

The Challenge:

ACE was engaged at preferred bidder stage by Amey, the appointed service provider to Ivywood Colleges.

Our role was to initially advise and negotiate the payment mechanism through to financial close.

ACE was then retained to assist in the training of staff so that they had a full understanding of how the payment mechanism worked, the building of the calculation models and assisting in integrating this correctly into the help desk system to ensure that it accurately reflected the contract.

Our Approach / Solution:

We had to analyse and understand this unique payment mechanism, as it had many features not found on standard payment mechanisms. Once this had been achieved the payment mechanism was modelled and tested to see what the resultant calculations produced. From this, a risk analysis could be undertaken and it was then used as a basis to negotiate and recalibrate the mechanism to make it appropriate as a risk transfer mechanism.

Meetings then took place with the consortium’s advisors and every single Service Level Agreement was reviewed in detail and the calibration adjusted by consent.

The outcome of these negotiations was remodelled and tested until a workable solution was found for financial close.

After financial close and prior to service commencement, we rebuilt the model into an operating calculator that was then integrated into the help desk system, so that any failure in a month could be easily calculated and verified.

Amey’s on site team and management of the facilities management contract were then trained on its use and implications.

The Results:

Our input ensured that the payment mechanism was balanced, properly calibrated and worked correctly when sample data was used.

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