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Strategic Forum leads charge for 'instant growth'

The Strategic Forum for Construction will formulate an ‘instant growth’ package to stimulate short and medium term work in the industry.

The forum – an industry umbrella group representing leading bodies in construction – welcomed steps announced last week by Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement.

But the forum believes the industry must do more to help the government identify opportunities that will kick-start growth in the immediate future.

Leading clients, professional bodies, contractors, specialists and product suppliers represented on the forum have agreed to collaborate to provide updated guidance to government.

The forum will produce an action plan, setting out proposals identifying opportunities to boost activity and create employment in the short-to-medium term.

Chairman of the forum Lord O’Neill said: “The autumn statement rightly focused on our industry as a potential engine room for economic recovery, cutting through barriers to development and funding a range of strategically important projects.

“But much of this investment will not kick in until 2013 and beyond. As a major contributor to the economic success of the UK, we believe that the construction industry could do more to fill in this gap, ramping up activity over the coming year. This will keep people in work and companies in business.

“It is vital that the industry as a whole comes up with robust proposals, and I am therefore pleased that members of the Forum have agreed to back this initiative.

“Having developed an action plan we look forward to engaging with government, working in partnership to boost output in the industry in 2012”.

The move marks a positive step for the forum. Former MP Martin O’Neill took the helm in September as infighting threatened its future.

In an interview with CN last month, Lord O’Neill said he is hoping to re-establish the forum as a credible and coherent voice on behalf of the industry.

The forum represents:

Construction Clients Group
Construction Alliance and the UK Contractors Group
Construction Industry Council
Construction Products Association
National Specialist Contractors’ Council
Specialist Engineering Contractors Group
Trades Union Council.

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