Opinion: £50bn cash boost gives hope to contractors

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Christmas is traditionally a time of giving.

And George Osborne seems to have finally found his Santa hat with all the signs pointing to a construction cash boost of up to £50bn in the wake of the Autumn Statement.

Confirmation of extra infrastructure and housing spending will be a huge boost for contractors staring at ominously empty order books for 2012 and beyond.

It will also mean an end to an unrelenting diet of bad news as the recovery proved to be a mirage and the industry faced a tough year without help.

Treasury wonks are now busily finding ways of attracting private cash to fund this spending spree while avoiding the financial pitfalls of the previous PFI programme.

Of course most contractors don’t really care where the money comes from – as long as it materialises and is spent on construction work.

But this sudden rush to funnel pension fund and insurance company money into construction does beg the question – why didn’t we do it earlier?

The Government seems to have waited until the ship is full of holes before bailing things out.

The private money due to come forward doesn’t derail the deficit reductions plans so why have we waited so long to use it as a stimulus for the economy?

Interest rates have been on the floor for years now so it’s not as if the pension fund holders haven’t been on the lookout for new investment opportunities.

But let’s not carp too much and just enjoy the fact that construction is now being recognised as a driver of recovery.

Timing is the vital issue with contractors needing help now.

The Autumn statement must deliver real detail on how this money will be filtered into construction projects and a timetable for when contractors will start to feel the benefit.

There are plenty of “shovel ready” projects which could be mobilised within weeks to ensure the future of firms and their workers.

Construction companies have lived through some very dark days recently.

This news gives the whole industry hope and a real chance for the country to build itself out of recession.

Latest news

Receivers in at £125m Manchester tower developer

Domis Construction walked away from scheme following doubts over funding
7 hours ago

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
4 days ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
3 days ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
3 days ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
3 days ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
3 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
4 days ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
4 days ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
4 days ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
4 days ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
4 days ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
4 days ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
4 days ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
5 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
5 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
5 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
5 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
5 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
5 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
6 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
6 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
6 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
6 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
6 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
6 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
6 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
6 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
6 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
6 days ago

Aluminium cladding specialist collapses

Melton Mowbray-based firm worked for several main contractors
7 days ago

Contractor services