Construction Leadership Council chairman Andy Mitchell has written to the Chancellor saying that construction is now fully mobilised and better placed than other industry’s to stimulate fast economic recovery.
Outlining a wish-list for the upcoming Autumn Comprehensive Spending Review, Mitchell writes: “We recognise that difficult decisions will have to be made, so have focussed on a small number of strategic interventions that we believe will drive growth while rebalancing opportunities and securing net zero carbon.
“Our recommendations form a package that will ensure employment for thousands of workers nationwide while building a better economy.
“We know that other sectors, particularly those in retail, leisure, and tourism, will face a harder fight to rebuild. As such, our sector must do everything it can to help stimulate renewed economic activity.”
Comprehensive Spending Review wishlist
1.Support a net zero carbon retrofit programme for existing homes
Government builds on its commitment to a £9.2bn national retrofit programme of energy efficiency improvements, creating a long-term plan for carbon reduction for homes.
For properties not covered by the programme, introduce a ‘Help to Fix’ interest-free loan scheme, predicated on energy efficiency to improve the quality of the nation’s housing stock.
2. Ensuring vital building safety improvements are delivered
Inject more cash into Government’s cladding remediation fund to meet £3.5bn spend needed for 18m+ blocks
Also establish a cladding remediation fund for sub-18m blocks
3. Funding to unlock infrastructure that enables local regeneration programmes
Government sets up a £10bn Regeneration Investment Bank/Fund at discounted interest to deliver regeneration deals with the private sector on behalf of the local authorities and LEPs.
4. Maintain the UK as a global leader for digitalisation of the built environment, including National Digital Twin
Fund adoption of the Information Management Framework, which would enable secure, resilient data sharing across the built environment
Fund digitalisation of the planning process
5. Ensuring skills capacity to match needs from planned investment programmes
Rechannel unspent apprenticeship levy funds to create 1,000 apprentices each year
£7.5m to maintain and grow the construction skills hubs, providing work experience leading to sustained employment for 3,000 new entrants
£1.2m to support a ‘bridge into construction’ from FE to provide accelerated apprenticeships
6. Demand-side support for the housing sector in accordance with the build back ‘better and greener’ philosophy
Government to review impact of March 2021 stamp duty holiday and Help to Buy support for housing to avoid a cliff edge in demand