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The Government has published, Construction 2025, its industrial strategy for the construction industry. Prepared in consultation with the industry over the last six months, the strategy sets out how government and the construction industry will work together to ensure the UK continues to thrive in the face of increasing global competition. The strategy contains an action plan of 10 joint commitments to ensure the industry is best placed to achieve its ambitions by 2025, including:

  • Developing plans to secure jobs and growth by exploiting developments in green construction
  • Using the GREAT campaign to promote British construction abroad and attract new business
  • Leading the transformation of the industry through the new Construction Leadership Council

The Government intends that small and medium-sized businesses will benefit from the strategy. Government and industry have pledged to increase the number of suppliers offering greater trade credit to small businesses, as well as developing a fair payment charter for construction. The aspiration set out in the strategy is that working in partnership, the construction industry and Government, will by 2025 achieve:

  • A 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of assets
  • A 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets
  • A 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment
  • A 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.

The Construction Leadership Council is being formed under the joint chairmanship of Vince Cable and Sir David Higgins to oversee the delivery of the Action Plan.
Glenigan Comment. The Strategy sets out ambitious objectives for the construction industry. Delivering the strategy’s aspirations for reducing building times and costs, whilst simultaneously halving the greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment will require substantial changes to the type of work undertaken by the industry and to the way it is delivered.  The report envisages that smart construction and digital design, including the use of BIM, will be key tools if the industry is to delivering these objectives.

The Strategy acknowledges that the construction industry is an important driver for UK economic growth. Furthermore construction activity should outpace the growth in the wider economy over the medium term as the recovery gathers momentum. However, the report envisages that the greatest growth opportunities for the industry will lie overseas. The global construction market is forecast to grow by over 70% by 2025. The Strategy envisages that delivering the aspirations for costs, build times and environmental performance in the UK market will help position UK firms to win a larger slice of the growing global construction market.

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