CLC accepts govt has no money for infra

The UK’s Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has acknowledged that government has little money to spend, but pointed to retrofit as an area for co-investment.

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak ahead of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review, CLC co-chair Andy Mitchell said the organisation accepts that the review period “will not bring an opportunity to open up major new programmes of public investment” in the wake of the l;arge sums spent propping up the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead, Mitchell focuses on underlining the importance of existing government commitments to infrastructure investment and calls for that to be retained.

Further, the letter highlights the potential of a “National Retrofit Strategy”, which it says could harness private funding alongside public sector investment.

In an announcement coinciding with the letter, Mitchell explained the CLC’s rationale behind the focus of its demands. 

“It may surprise people in the industry that this has not led to the preparation of a long list of new projects we want the government to back,” he said. “We all know that there is a huge amount to be done, not least in accelerating the decarbonisation of the UK’s existing building stock, and it is clear that construction is a huge driver of economic growth.

“Put simply, there is little point in presenting the government with a further list of works that almost inevitably would have to be ignored, and in the process losing the opportunity to emphasise those things that the government could and should continue to invest in.”