Case study 2 February 2020

The Scottish Parliament


Opening in 2004, the Scottish Parliament situated at the end of the Royal Mile in Holyrood, Edinburgh and is the meeting place of 129 Members of Scottish Parliament and up to 1000 staff during busy times. Some of the principal features of the complex include leaf-shaped buildings, a grass-roofed branch merging into adjacent parkland and gabion walls formed from the stones of previous buildings.

There are many challenges associated with working with the Scottish Parliament. These include ensuring that the estate remains as clean as possible and that assets are maintained and repaired during downtime, allowing the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and staff to run the affairs of Scotland smoothly whilst still accommodating over 700,000 members of the general public who visit the parliament each year as tourists. And being a high security, public sector building, all suppliers need security clearance to work on site.

Furthermore, many of the assets at the Scottish Parliament are bespoke and exist nowhere else in the world meaning that they are difficult to maintain after installation. Designed and installed in 2004 when the building opened, many assets are now antiquated due to the rapid advancements in technology.


We provide planned preventative maintenance, reactive maintenance, small project works, general cleaning, housekeeping and nightshift cleaning for The Scottish Parliament. Our dedicated engineering on site team consists of 13 individuals who are supported by our team of mobile engineers that are poised to respond to reactive call outs and a 24/7 service desk based in Rutherglen, Glasgow.

To accommodate the estate’s use by MSPs, staff and tourists, we work closely with the Scottish Parliament to organise for works to be undertaken during downtime and parliamentary recess, with careful consideration given to this during the planning phase.

One example of the bespoke assets at the Scottish Parliament is the vehicle entry system. We found a subcontractor that specialised in bespoke installations who were able to maintain the system and complete regular checks, ensuring that it does not break down. Our team are slowly replacing other bespoke assets as they reach the end of their lifecycle with industry recognised alternatives which are easier to maintain and repair.


During our partnership, we have delivered many large projects in short timescales during parliamentary recess. An example of this is the refurbishment of the press tower inside the building consisting of offices and filming rooms and is a permanent home to media outlets such as the BBC. The refurbishment was completed during the six-week summer recess and received a lot of praise from all using the space.

Some of the achievements and innovations that we have implemented across the Scottish Parliament contract include working with the Scottish Parliament to implement their new computer-aided facility management system ‘Concept’. Concept is backed up by Mitie’s own system Maximo. This means that if any asset data is lost on one system, it is backed up on another.

We have also replaced 364 light fittings in the debating chamber with bespoke 150-watt LED lights. This has halved the Scottish Parliament’s energy usage in this room from 40Kw to 20Kw. This lighting is suitable quality for broadcast at any time of day and has also halved spend. We have also replaced the light fittings in the main hall with colour changing LED lights which not only save energy and money but can also be very atmospheric and impressive when events are held in this space. 

Read next

See Resource Archive