SNIPEF: CICV Forum report puts spotlight on improving public investment and supporting green recovery

SNIPEF: CICV Forum report puts spotlight on improving public investment and supporting green recovery

Fiona Hodgson

Campaigning trade association SNIPEF has welcomed an in-depth report published by the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) which is aimed at helping public bodies make decisions on where public funding in construction gives the highest economic returns to help support a green recovery.

The plumbing employers’ federation in Scotland and Northern Ireland said that the report, commissioned by the Forum from the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, would improve understanding of how investment in construction activity creates multiplier effects socially, economically, and environmentally.

The report also aims to support policy makers, clients and investors in understanding the return on investment associated with repair and maintenance activity.

Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of SNIPEF, said: “This is a very valuable report which highlights that investment in construction, including repairs and improvements, can play a vital role in a green recovery. It also emphasises the important role Scotland’s existing buildings have in that recovery. 

“We will look to highlight this report to the Scottish Government and funding bodies to assist in maximising the economic and carbon benefits of investment in the built environment.” 

The report highlights that the construction sector is an important contributor to the Scottish economy, supporting almost £16 billion in Scottish GVA and almost 300,000 full-time equivalent jobs through direct, indirect and induced economic activity. 

The report also reveals that every million pounds spent on specialised construction activities, including repairs and improvements, generates £1.09 million GVA return to the Scottish economy and supports 21 full-time equivalent jobs.

The study also looked at how VAT rebates could stimulate the repair, maintenance and improvement element of construction work. Its research found that, if VAT was cut from 20% to 5% in the specialised construction sector, it could generate between £80m and £400m in Scottish GVA and support between 1,500 and 7,500 full-time equivalent Scottish jobs. 

Mairi Spowage, deputy director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said: “The construction sector is a significant contributor to the Scottish economy and will play an important role in Scotland’s green recovery from Covid-19. 

“Our analysis finds that specialised construction activities, which include retrofitting, home improvements and repairs, have larger economic multipliers than the rest of the construction sector and the Scottish average across all industries.”

The report was commissioned by the CICV Forum with funding by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) though an i-Con Challenge Innovation Grant aimed at helping the sector to recover from the pandemic. The project had input from Historic Environment Scotland and a number of private and public organisations provided insight into the study.

A webinar to present and discuss the findings in more detail took place on March 10 and can be viewed again, via the CICV Forum Website.

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