As part of Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement a sum of £23bn is to be invested in infrastructure, in the form of the National Productivity Investment Fund. This was welcomed by the civil engineering profession, yet they flagged concerns about priorities and delivery, as well as addressing the skills gap.
£2.3bn of the National Productivity Investment Fund is allocated to unlocking sites for 100,000 new homes, by delivering roads and water connections. A further £1.4bn has been added to the £4.7bn National Affordable Housing Programme, aimed at delivering an additional 40,000 homes on top of the 153,000 already promised. And another £1.7 billion will be used to speed up the construction of new homes on public sector land. Sajid Javid outlined, at the NHBC annual lunch what government is doing to make the housing market work for everyone. Read more on the housing sector in our blog: Meeting housing demand, whilst achieving sustainability and wellbeing.
Overall the chancellor’s spending plans aim to boost UK economic output, with the level of capital invest to rise from £79bn to £106bn in the next four years.
On the 5th December government published a forward-looking pipeline of planned projects and programmes in housing, and economic and social infrastructure. This sets out over £500 billion worth of planned private and public investment over this Parliament and beyond, with more than 40% of the pipeline being delivered thanks to government investment. And early next year government is to announce a new PF2 pipeline covering social and economic infrastructure schemes.
The Construction Products Association have written a useful summary of how the Autumn Statement and how its key announcements might affect construction.