Published by: PlaceTech
Date: August 2019
Link to full article: https://placetech.net/analysis/kajima-platform-helps-schools-rent-out-void-space
Technology has already revolutionised many aspects of the public realm, notably in education, with some universities offering courses entirely based online, many institutions recording their lectures so that students do not miss out, and many schools providing learners with tablets to aid the learning experience.
The adoption of tech in the public sphere more widely has not been as substantial, often with basic administrative tasks still eating away at valuable employee hours. However, whilst change can often be difficult, there is one area in particular, using tech to help generate greater benefits from a more efficient use of public property assets, which could help release much more money to reinvest in services.
At Kajima Community, we have developed one such piece of software, BookingsPlus, which enables organisations like schools and colleges to rent out their various facilities, such as halls, playing fields and specialist rooms, for use by the community. A key benefit of this software is that it is accessible via any device, including laptops, tablets and mobiles. This streamlines the booking process, reducing extensive admin time usually wasted in lettings management.
This is important to many public sector estates because the potential for releasing revenue to reinvest in services could be substantial. Indeed, at Kajima Community we have found schools which opt to open their facilities for community use can generate average annual revenues of £70,000. In some cases, this figure rises significantly to as much as £470,000 per year. This fresh revenue can then be invested in new equipment, school resources or facility maintenance.
Although the adoption of lettings management is currently limited to mostly educational facilities, there is significant potential for this to be carried out in other public sectors, such as healthcare.
The variety of assets the public estate could provide is vast. From town halls to parks, libraries and community centres, estate assets could be utilised and turned into extra revenue for local authorities who are feeling the pressures of the current economic climate, helping to safeguard services and protect jobs.
The potential of this approach is considerable. A public estate, with significant high-quality assets, which are used more effectively through a lettings management system driving efficiency, freeing up space, boosting revenue and maximising returns, would be a far improved state asset and would lead to significant benefits for society as a whole.