Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, comments on today’s ONS construction output data:
“Although the ONS has shown an overall fall in output of 2.2 per cent in the last quarter, the view on the ground has been more positive – the CIPS/Markit PMI data from the past few months has consistently shown that contractors are optimistic, with new orders coming in and a strong pipeline of projects.
“This is exactly the longer term view we need to take. Building the new homes and supporting infrastructure that Britain needs will require greater collaboration and innovation across the sector, as well as better skills training and reform of the planning system to allow quick and strategic decision making.
“Public sector work is a crucial part of the construction industry, and with the November Spending Review and Autumn Statement coming up later this month, the government should seize the opportunity to support key building projects. Local authorities and central government departments are under increasing financial pressure, but efficient public services depend on great public sector buildings.
“The government is taking some positive steps – such as retiring our Victorian prisons and using those sites for much-needed new homes. Replacing them with modern and more efficient new buildings will save money in the longer term, as well as ensuring we have a prison system fit for 2020 and beyond.”