Last Wednesday the Government announced £126m for 40,000 traineeships, continued furlough scheme until September with no changes to the current terms, £12bn funding for the UK infrastructure bank for local projects and three new investment programs UK Community Renewal Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Ownership Fund to be delivered through local authorities, all parts of the £4bn Levelling Up Fund commitment announced in November. Combined with the stamp duty holiday extension on house purchases until the end of June the Budget looks positive for the Construction industry.
£10m for Modern Methods of Construction Adoption
£10m of funding and a taskforce was announced for the adoption of modern construction methods in housing. Facilitated by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in Wolverhampton, MMC is not a new initiative, here is guidance on the programme.
Connectivity For Road & Rail
For Road & Rail Connectivity, why not consider EMS i-MO OptiBond solution? Delivers fast / resilient aggregated 4G and / or fixed line services to site in days. The system is widely used on difficult to serve, mobile Road & Rail projects. See www.ems-imo.com
COVID Accelerates Modern Methods of Construction
Apparently 6-10% of housing is now constructed under ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ (MMC) techniques, but this is forecast to rise to 20% in the coming years due to COVID transformation – housebuilders becoming more aware of safety and efficiency; government initiatives and the need to improve energy efficiency, as well as increased demand for new housing, requiring traditional builders to become more productive. According to Savills, new housebuilding needs to increase by 24% to 300,000 new homes per year, an impossible feat using current methods. MMC definition is hard to find but the Government sets out 7 groups of offsite manufactured equipment to be assembled onsite or onsite innovative methods:
- Volumetric modular
- Structural panellised
- Offsite components
- Additive manufacture
- Non-structural assemblies and sub-assemblies
- On-site building material improvements
- On-site process improvement
Beable Saves Construction From COVID
Luckily, technology exists so Construction sites can stay open and take care of their workers with beable® Wearable which has been deployed at pilot stage at a large north London site to keep workers safe and productive; it facilitates physical distancing as well as interaction tracking. Developed by Electronic Media Services and funded by Innovate UK, the new technology has been well received and plans to rollout to further sites in Q2 this year are underway.
130% first year capital benefits will be allocated to companies who invest in new plant and machinery assets cutting their tax bill by up to 25 pence in every pound.
We announced the UK will implement freeports in our January Update #3: 8 new freeport sites were announced in the latest budget: East Midlands Airport, Freeport East (Felixstowe and Harwich), Thames (Including Port of Tilbury and London Gateway Port), Liverpool City Region, Teesside, Solent, Plymouth & Devon and Teeside. ‘Businesses located within the freeports will benefit from tax breaks including no stamp duty, full rebates for construction and machinery investment, five years of zero business rates, and lower tariffs and customs obligations’ says the Guardian.