The Spring Budget

Although the Spring Budget failed to be headline-grabbing, it did outline a number of measures that will have welcome knock-on effects with several provisions set to encourage and enable local construction and development across the UK. With a combined £536m investment package promised for free schools, grammar schools and existing local authority schools, the Budget’s … Continue reading “The Spring Budget”

MIPIM 2017 – a new deal for real estate

The message at this year’s MIPIM was all about growth – whether it be through welcoming new players and industry game changers, harnessing new forms of collaboration or reinventing business models. This year’s big themes were: Land of opportunity. With over 70 large-scale projects from 23 countries announced over the course of this year’s MIPIM, … Continue reading “MIPIM 2017 – a new deal for real estate”

Are the UK’s nuclear energy ambitions unrealistic?

In February, Toshiba announced that it will not be “carrying out actual construction work” on its proposed £106bn Moorside nuclear power plant in Cumbria, although it still plans to be involved, after the company admitted it was writing off losses of $6bn following huge cost over-runs on two of its atomic plants in the US. … Continue reading “Are the UK’s nuclear energy ambitions unrealistic?”

An SME’s perspective on the Housing White Paper

The Housing White Paper covered a lot of ground, but its focus on offsite and modern methods of construction was of particular interest – especially as this is currently such a ‘hot topic’ in the property industry. The paper cited offsite construction as being the key to tackling the housing shortage; in the report, Secretary … Continue reading “An SME’s perspective on the Housing White Paper”

Midlands Engine picks up speed creating serious rival to Northern Powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse is certainly pumping, but equally keeping up the pace is the Midlands Engine, which shifted up a gear in November as Highways England announced progress on several major transport and infrastructure schemes in the region. The plans, unveiled at a Highways UK event in Birmingham, include a £644m road improvements package to … Continue reading “Midlands Engine picks up speed creating serious rival to Northern Powerhouse”

What does ‘President Trump’ mean for the UK construction industry?

Next month President-Elect Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the USA, occupying one of the most powerful political offices in the world. After a contentious election race, those working in the UK construction industry have found themselves wondering: What does Trump’s victory mean for us? Among other things, climate change, global markets and … Continue reading “What does ‘President Trump’ mean for the UK construction industry?”

The dust has settled on Brexit, but the jury is still out

The Brexit debate takes a new turn every week. In November the Supreme Court ruled that MPs had to be consulted via a parliamentary vote before the government could trigger Article 50 and begin formal negotiations, currently planned for March. With the dust settling on Brexit, the realisation of what it means for the construction … Continue reading “The dust has settled on Brexit, but the jury is still out”

Modernise or die: a harsh but necessary message?

Mark Farmer’s hard-hitting review of the construction industry received mixed responses from the construction sector, perhaps because it made sobering reading. Top of the agenda was Farmer’s challenge to the industry and the government to reform construction so it’s fit to meet the infrastructure challenges ahead, namely HS2 and another Heathrow runway. Addressing the skills … Continue reading “Modernise or die: a harsh but necessary message?”

An “understated but encouraging” Autumn Statement

As many commentators have quipped, the biggest thing to come out of last month’s Autumn Statement was the revelation that there will no longer be an Autumn Statement. Flippancy aside, the announcement itself was fairly low key. Confirmation of higher borrowing and lower growth were the headlines, as expected, but the driving message throughout the … Continue reading “An “understated but encouraging” Autumn Statement”

The Rio Olympics and the legacy of London

London and Rio de Janeiro, like many of the Olympic Games gone before, have something in common: they both promised their people a legacy. At the time of selection, Brazil was set to become one of the world’s largest economies. Although in the interim it has been affected by economic shocks, presidential concerns and healthcare … Continue reading “The Rio Olympics and the legacy of London”

Infrastructure investment delays

Big infrastructure has been under scrutiny recently. In September, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) was cut from the Planning Bill; NIC Commissioner Sir John Armitt has said that the government does not believe the NIC requires a statutory footing, but critics have questioned the Bill’s revision. Given that the commission was set up to encourage … Continue reading “Infrastructure investment delays”