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Government growth review to focus on construction

The government has launched a review into what action it can take within the construction sector to create the best conditions for private sector growth.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned the ‘growth review’, which will assess how the government can improve planning, trade and inward investment, competition, regulation, access to finance and corporate governance within a number of sectors – including construction.

The other sectors identified are retail, health and life sciences, professional and business services, manufacturing and digital and creative industries.

The government will be compiling evidence and advice from businesses to report by Budget 2011.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Alongside the corporate tax reforms announced today, the growth review contributes to the Government’s drive to remove the barriers to growth and improve British competitiveness.

“We have been clear that growth will be driven by the private sector. By working closely with business and industry in this intensive programme of work, Government can make sure that Britain is open for business.”

Construction Products Association chief executive Michael Ankers welcomed the review and said it reiterated the positive step taken by government to identify construction as vital to the growth of the UK economy.

He said: “We appreciate the importance placed by the government on such an important sector and welcome the support pledged to the manufacturing industry.”

Mr Ankers added that consecutive Labour and Conservative governments had placed disproportionate importance on advanced manufacturing such as bio-chemicals, while neglecting ‘less sexy’ but equally important construction supplies.

“The pledge to improve support for new and expanding industries is a positive step – as is the pledge to improve performance in large domestic sectors. Both show a more balanced approach to manufacturing support,” he said.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association also welcomed the review and called for improvements in project leadership, procurement bureaucracy and planning.

Ceca head of industry affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “It is unacceptable that much of contractors’ revenues are eaten up by paying for unnecessary bureaucracy during procurement of works.

“Any examples of duplication of effort during procurement must be aggressively rooted out, allowing contractors to instead redirect this money towards investment in innovation that will help drive growth and improvement across the whole sector.”

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