Government promises construction boost with major spending commitment

“Prime Minister commits £12 billion to build 180,000 new affordable homes”

In a well-received announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to “build, build, build” new affordable homes across the UK – and his government has committed £12 billion to make it happen. This is great news for the construction industry (and, consequently, the timber industry, which is one of its major suppliers) which is still struggling to overcome the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to this boost, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged an additional £3 billion to improve the energy efficiency of UK building. These promises will start having a major impact in September, when new regulations come into force which are designed to give greater freedom for buildings and land in town centres to change use without planning permission. This will let new homes be constructed from the renovation of vacant and redundant buildings.

Nick Boulton, CEO of the Trussed Rafter Association, said “as the construction industry is getting back on its feet, it is good to know the government is prepared to spend where necessary and make good on its earlier promises. As originally set out in the budget in March, the £12 billion allocated for affordable homes will really help the current situation and the sooner it can be accessed the better.”

He added that “we do not know how long this virus will be part of our lives and so we should start building the safe, affordable homes that create greater resilience and allow social distancing as soon as possible.”

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) also welcomed the news, saying “more than 85% of the building stock that exists now will still exist in 2050, so it is essential if the UK is to reach Net Zero by 2050, we need to start achieving that standard now.”

The TTF also said that the Treasury had estimated this stimulus would support about 100,000 jobs in UK construction, and highlighted the role timber could play in this surge: “timber products are excellent insulators, and offer the added bonus of acting as a form of carbon capture and storage. As the UK continues to embrace the green recovery, it will be essential that we continue to position timber as the ultimate sustainable material.”

If you would like to make an enquiry, or need advice over what type of timber would be right for your project, just give Quercus a call on 0845 50 50 311 or drop us a line via our contact form.