An £11.27bn investment in construction and a series of strategic decisions around new home building can kick start the UK’s economic recovery and deliver a £33bn return for the Government, according to experts at Birmingham City University.
Experienced regional economist Dr Steve McCabe and construction expert Mike Leonard have produced the Build Back Better: Covid-19 Economy Recovery Plan which features a blueprint for a safe return to construction, a set of recommendations to help stimulate demand for new homes and home improvement, and details on how to build essential infrastructure and train a new generation of skilled workers – acting as a catalyst for growth and delivering income for HMRC.
The plan, which follows a clear instruction from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that those in construction and manufacturing should now return to work, also calls on the Government to stand by its commitment to “do everything it takes” to fight the virus and support the UK economy, by investing £11.27bn in a wide-reaching programme, designed to create mass employment and produce a £33 billion return.
Authored by Birmingham City University’s Dr Steve McCabe, Associate Professor at the Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration and Mike Leonard, Visiting Professor of Manufacturing and Construction and founder of the Get Britain Building campaign, the hard-hitting and wide-ranging plan brings together all sectors of the construction industry for a solution-led approach.
Recommendations and observations in the plan include:
Of particular focus in Build Back Better: Covid-19 Economy Recovery Plan are SMEs, who dominate the sector, with a suggestion that UK Plc fully engages such businesses in order to build the infrastructure and new homes the UK needs, alongside investments to deal with fuel poverty and the upgrading of existing housing stock to meet the net zero 2050 obligations.
McCabe and Leonard – both based in the UK Midlands, an area KMPG has assessed as likely to be worst hit economically by the pandemic – also make strong recommendations to delay the introduction of non-safety related building regulations and provide a range of incentives to stimulate consumer demand, accelerate training and increase apprenticeship opportunities.
Mike Leonard, who is also CEO of Building Alliance, said, “History tells us that the construction industry is the tried and tested solution to drive economic recovery, not least due to the fact we manufacture the vast majority of building materials in the UK which provides resilience, skilled jobs and fast returns on investment. The upstream and downstream jobs in manufacturing, architecture, planning, engineering, distribution and construction, creates an unrivalled multiplier that can achieve inclusive growth, building back better and helping to rebalance our economy. Saving lives must remain our priority but we now have the signal to begin to safely unlock and begin the long path to economic recovery. Construction and the building materials manufacturers are now returning to work