Construction industry predicts post-election boom

  • 9th July 2024

Image, Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

NBS  and Glenigan, both part of Byggfakta Group, have released their latest findings from a poll of architects and construction professionals which has found half of those working in construction (52%) expect more projects to get off the ground post election and predict a greater range of projects and opportunities coming their way.

Interestingly, the most bullish were those working in construction firms with a revenue of (£50-£100m), with 61% expecting more work.

One in three construction professionals say infrastructure, social housing, and planning policy are important to this generation of politicians.

And a similar number expect clients to green-light projects more easily.

However, while most people feel positive about the sector in the coming months, one in five are pessimistic.

The study, which focused on industry sentiment in the lead up to the election, found that optimism was running high for the new government.

Making sustainability a priority was a consistent call from built environment professionals, with only one in 20 not wanting to see the new government focus on net zero.

A third of construction and architectural specialists called for tax incentives and subsidies to support sustainable projects, and a similar number wanted tougher measures on construction waste.

A quarter (27%) also called for a green infrastructure taskforce to support city and transport network decarbonisation.

And one in five architects (17%) wanted to see EPDs become legally binding, higher than construction professionals (11%) and engineers (14%).

This is possibly because of architects’ detailed focus on EPDs during the specification stage of a project.

The survey of over 500 industry professionals reveals that, despite a sluggish year of project approvals, positivity remains – and that hope is on the horizon.

Nearly half of construction professionals (48%) described the UK as ‘easy’ to operate in, showing a significant portion believe it is a great place to do business. This was the highest result compared to their industry counterparts (40% of architects, 42% of engineers).

Russell Haworth, chief executive of Byggfakta Group, said: “While construction has built a reputation for resilience, there’s an expectation that our new Labour Government will be good for the sector, driving growth through unlocking the planning system and prioritising the housing shortage.

“Construction professionals want the climate crisis to be addressed with both carrots and sticks in the form of tax incentives and regulation to ensure the UK can cope with climate change.  I’m cautiously optimistic about the future.”

The survey, which included responses from 505 industry professionals across construction, architecture, and engineering, and at all company sizes and turnover brackets, posed the questions:  

  • What are you most optimistic about?
  • In terms of energy and climate policies that would help the built environment to meet its net-zero targets, what, if anything, are your top priorities you would like to see the next government commit to?
  • How easy or difficult would you say it is to do business in this country?
  • What areas of Government priorities, if any, do you think are the most important to the current generation of politicians?

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