UK construction and property
- Insolvency | Administrator Begbies Traynor reported that Michael J Lonsdale’s administration has left £65m of debt to more than 600 suppliers and subcontractors.
- Hospitals | National Health Service England has begun its search for a Programme Delivery Partner to ensure it meets its target of 32 new hospitals by 2030. The National Audit Office warned in July that progress against the target was slow.
- Housebuilding | The Government missed its housebuilding target last year. Its 2019 manifesto targeted 300,000 homes a year in England by the mid-2020s, but there were only 234,397 net additional dwellings in 2022/23. The Home Builders Federation said that “all leading indicators show rapid slides in future output”.
- Construction starts | Glenigan’s November research shows that new starts fell 27% in the three months to October and are 59% lower than last year. However, planning approvals increased by 1% to be 17% higher than last year.
- Electricians | The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) launched its Recharging Electrical Skills Charter. It claims that electricians are “indispensable” in the move to low-carbon but there are not enough competent electricians, and the number of new entrants is low. It warns that the skills system is broken, with publicly funded, classroom-based courses producing no apprentices between 2017-2020. Up-skilling costs are a barrier for small businesses and new apprentices alike.
- RAAC | The Manufacturing Technology Centre has secured a £3m government grant to develop new methods of identifying RAAC and assessing its condition. It is hoped that it will develop a mass-produced solution for a replacement programme.
- Building Safety Regulator | The new regulator has published its three-year strategy. It says that the plan will oversee a culture of higher standards, and put safety first while restoring trust in the sector. Amongst other things, the Building Safety Regulator has vowed to inspect all buildings with unsafe cladding within its first year. The strategy is available here.