UK Election: A Manifesto for Construction and the Built Environment

15 min read

With a General Election underway in the UK, it is vital that our next Government recognises the importance of the construction and built environment sectors.

In order to make sure our voice is heard, Mace has published a Manifesto for Construction and the Built Environment. 

Rarely have we faced such uncertain political times. For the construction and built environment sector, that uncertainty comes at a time when margins are already slim and we face a shortage of skills across the sector. Our share of the economy has grown from 3.7% in 1997 to over 6% in 2018, making the work we do as an industry increasingly important to the nation. 

In addition to its direct economic benefits, construction is also a crucial enabler of economic prosperity in the same way that education is. For example, the £600bn pipeline of UK infrastructure spending on things like new schools, hospitals, roads and railways is completely dependent on the construction industry’s ability to deliver these schemes.

It is clear that any future UK government who ignores the value of the construction industry does so at their peril.

In July 2013, the then government set out its strategy for the construction sector in ‘Construction 2025’ which included the following overall aims:

  • 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of assets (from 2010/09 levels).
  • 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets (based on industry standards in 2013).
  • 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment (compared to 1990).
  • 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials (from February 2013 deficit of £6 billion).

Given these ambitious aims and the fact that the industry operates on wafer thin margins of around 0.5% construction needs specific support, focus and assistance from any future government.

In this ‘manifesto’ we outline a number of practical policy interventions that can help this critically important industry to prosper and to deliver on the Construction 2025 ambitions outlined in 2013.

To do so we’ve identified nine key areas where we think firm commitments from the political parties could help to drive forward change across the sector. From the future of our migration system to planning reform and helping the construction sector to hit Net Zero by 2050, the policy areas in this manifesto are all key to unlocking the next stage of construction productivity and growth in the UK.

To find out more, download our Manifesto for Construction and the Built Environment.