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Tessa Jowell backs funding campaign

The shadow minister for the Olympics and for London will today back the UK Contractors Group campaign for infrastructure funding.

Dame Tessa Jowell will today join leading industry figures to call on central government and local authorities to promote investment in infrastructure, to create jobs and growth for the wider economy.

Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield revealed details of the Creating Britain’s Future initiative on stage at the Construction News Awards 2012 in London on Tuesday night.

The campaign, backed by many of the industry’s leading companies, aims to promote the importance of construction as a driver of growth and a major employer, which for every £1 invested generates £2.84 of economic activity, 92p of which remains in the UK.

The launch comes as 23 of the country’s most eminent contractor bosses have signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph outlining the need for public investment in infrastructure.

Ms Jowell, speaking at the launch of the campaign today, is expected to praise the success of the Olympic construction programme in creating capacity and developing infrastructure.

Last month, sports minister Hugh Robertson hailed the delivery of the Olympic projects as ‘a great advert’ for UK construction.

Contractors involved in the projects included Sir Robert McAlpine, which delivered the Olympic Stadium, ISG, responsible for the Velodrome, and Balfour Beatty, which constructured the Aquatics Centre and will take charge of the Olympic Park legacy plans.

KPMG’s recent ‘Infrastructure 100’ league table said the UK “punches way above its geographic and economic weight” in quality infrastructure projects.

Mr. Sheffield is expected to urge national and local authorities to speed up decision making and find new sources of finance, while CITB-ConstructionSkills chairman James Wates will warn against a widening gap in skills and training.

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