Interesting report from our Scape partner Balfour Beatty.
Encouraging a roll out of smaller scale, yet faster track infrastructure schemes at government and local government level, financed by historically low borrowing costs, to gear the industry up ready for the delivery of the major infrastructure projects (HS2, Heathrow, Thames Tideway etc).
The smaller schemes would in essence be an initial investment, quickly realising benefits for the UK economy and the industry. This would provide further needed confidence in the industry to recruit and train new staff, helping to bridge the current shortfall in skills and resources. This would importantly serve to de-risk the longer term major projects, from a skills perspective and also by providing greater confidence to the huge amount of UK private sector and foreign investment required.
One important feature to deliver ‘small scale, big impact’ will be the use of streamlined and efficient public procurement routes, which do exist. Wide-reaching and closely managed framework options, which enable faster compliant contracting providing demonstrable value for money, seem key to unlocking this potential and enabling public infrastructure schemes to be delivered and their social and economic benefits to be proven.
http://www.balfourbeatty.com/media/164310/bb_small-scale-big-impact-report.pdf Balfour Beatty examines the role small scale, quickly implementable projects can play in boosting economic growth nationally in the short to medium term, while simultaneously providing a longer-term structural contribution to the economy for example, by addressing congestion on the roads. Such ‘shovel ready’ schemes will provide the construction industry with the pipeline and certainty to invest in training future experts who will be needed to deliver larger scale projects such as HS2 and the third runway at Heathrow. Commenting today Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “Whilst major infrastructure investment will be vital to the strength of the UK over the mid-term, we believe there is also a way for the government’s industrial strategy to drive rapid economic stimulus, with considerable geographic precision.