BUILDING THE ECONOMY
Laying the foundations for a more
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has taken a wrecking ball to the economy, however, Rebecca Kitching,
sales and marketing assistant at TaperedPlus, outlines the role the construction sector can play post-crisis,
and how the rebuilding programme should be a central part of the UK’s stimulus to recovery
As one of the largest sectors,
construction plays a key role in
the UK economy, contributing
£90 billion and creating almost
10% of the UK’s employment, according
In line with this, the contracting
industry forms part of one of the largest
sub-sectors in the construction industry
in the UK. This has accounted for nearly
70% of the total value added generated
by UK construction and around 70% in
the job sector.
A number of key points were raised
by a Construction Leadership Council
webinar I recently attended, including
how for every £1 the government invests
in construction, it has an economic
value of £3, so investments are crucial in
helping to boost the UK’s economy.
It is vital the government leads the
economic recovery by investing in
construction, as this will give the private
sectors in the UK confidence, which will
then filter down to the domestic market.
The best way to keep cash flow in
the construction industry is to keep
working and maintain spending, as this
will accelerate the award of projects and
create a positive trend and spike
The financial impact construction
has on the UK economy is vital, as for
every £1 spent within the construction
industries supply chain, 90% stays
within the UK.
Following the recent announcement
from the Prime Minister regarding a £1
billion transformative 10-year rebuilding
programme for schools, colleges, and
further education (FE) colleges across
England, in order to continue to raise
building standards across the UK, this
will certainly help boost the economy,
following the impact of COVID-19.
The rebuilding programme will start
in 2020-21 with the first 50 projects being
supported by the funding.
Further details of the new 10-year
construction programme will be set
out in the government’s next Spending
The £1 billion investment will target
school buildings in the worst condition
across England, including significant
investment in the north and the
Midlands, as part of Boris Johnson’s plan
to level up opportunity for all. He has
committed to the following:
• £1 billion to fund the first 50 projects
in a 10-year school rebuilding
programme. These projects will
be confirmed in the autumn, and
construction on the first sites will
begin from September 2021.
• £560 million and £200 million for
repairs and upgrades to schools and
FE colleges respectively this year.
The rebuilding projects will
be greener, helping to meet the
government’s net zero target, and will
focus on modern construction methods
to help create highly skilled jobs and
boost the construction sector.
In addition, there is also a lot of
focus on the UK emissions target,
with 10% of the UK’s carbon dioxide
emissions currently associated with
the construction industry, and one to
two percent of this coming from new
In order to keep this figure as low as
possible, there needs to be a strong focus
and commitment to the refurbishment of
buildings, as well as newbuilds.
Investment in schools will be
prioritised on the basis of a building’s
condition, and further details of the
programme, including the approach
to eligibility, will be confirmed in the
government’s next Spending Review.
The £560 million for school repairs
and upgrades comes on top of over £1.4
billion in school condition funding,
which is already committed in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, the £200 million allocated
for FE colleges this year brings forward
plans announced by the Chancellor
in his spring budget for £1.5 billion of
investment over five years to transform
the FE college estate.
The government has advised that
this accelerated plan will help protect
jobs and drive forward the country’s
economic recovery from the pandemic.
Companies, like TaperedPlus, have
highly skilled teams available whose
expertise lies within the refurbishment
sector, and they are ideally positioned
to help assist the UK’s construction
industry with its recovery plan.
By using the best design technology
and investing heavily, both internally
and externally, organisations will be
able to assist with their knowledge
on refurbishment guidelines and
restrictions. Only by having this level of
understanding on the UK’s refurbishment
directives will result in growth and
development across the industry with
high-quality outcomes, which will
improve standards nationally.
best way to
flow in the
industry is to
12 www.rcimag.co.uk August 2020