With the new year nearly upon us, those in the construction industry are likely to want to find out what the next 12 months will bring for them. Therefore, the fresh announcement of a significant investment in the sector is likely to boost their confidence that 2018 will be a positive one for the industry.
Indeed, the government has recently shown its commitment to investing and supporting the construction trade by revealing new plans to spend £600 billion over the next ten years on improving infrastructure throughout the whole of Britain.
Earlier this month, it laid out proposals to develop infrastructure projects, transform delivery, and be a leader in high-tech building across the world.
Exchequer secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP said: “We are backing Britain with a record amount of infrastructure investment as we build an economy fit for the future. That’s why we’re working with the industry to skill up and scale up for the challenges ahead.”
One of the areas the government is keen to transform is the country’s travel network, with “ambitious improvements” in the pipeline, according to transport secretary Chris Grayling.
He added that projects including Crossrail, the Ordsall Chord, and road investment demonstrate high standards for delivering work on time and to budget, as well as increasing jobs and opportunities for workers.
Mr Jones stated there will be many benefits to a major infrastructure overhaul, including a big boost to productivity, particularly for the construction sector as a whole. He predicted that this could save as much as £15 billion a year.
The investment, which will be both public and private, is intended to increase innovation, encourage efficiency and make Britain a leader of design, building, technology and delivery.
Tony Meggs, chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, also noted that 2018 will be the year more modern methods of construction are utilised, which will also help the sector become more productive in the future.
He went on to say: “The scale of ambition is great but by aligning our initiatives we can work with industry to deliver transformation for the sector.”
This investment strategy will be good news for private contributors as well, as it shows the government’s pledge to the industry, which, in turn, will increase confidence in the market.
Over the last few years, there has been a renewed focus on infrastructure developments and structural repairs in Britain. Indeed, more than 4,500 projects have been completed since 2010, with nearly a quarter being transport initiatives.
In 2017 alone, the Mersey Gateway Bridge opened and Manchester unveiled the Ordsall Chord rail link just last month.
It is not just new developments that have a government’s focus either, and many projects involve the repair of older structures.
The Fisherman’s Bridge in Yorkshire is one example of this, with the 60-year-old structure being fully restored after it was crumpled by Storm Desmond, the Yorkshire Post revealed. The 114-ft bridge, located near Sedbergh, has finally been re-opened following intensive repairs that cost £110,000 in total.