£150m for the UK construction industry

A £150 million funding package has been assigned to the UK construction industry to help shorten build times, improve quality and make buildings more efficient.

The funding is to be delivered over five years.

£60 million is being invested via the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and this money will focus on proving new designs and technologies for energy efficient buildings. This investment is expected to be matched by industry.

An additional £30 is being contributed by government and other agencies to assist in the commercialisation of new construction technologies for both domestic and export markets.

Over the last five years £83 million has already been invested in low carbon buildings with the hope of reducing energy costs for individuals and businesses while also helping the UK meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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On announcing the new funding package business secretary Vince Cable said that it is critical that the UK’s new and existing buildings adjust to a low carbon economy. “Investing in energy efficient construction projects is important to help industry and government achieve our aims of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. I therefore warmly welcome the Technology Strategy Board’s investment of £60 million in energy efficient technology alongside the private sector.”

Facing up to the challenge of helping industry meet government emissions reductions targets, David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the Technology Strategy Board said that it has “called for innovation on a grand scale,” but that the TSB has been “astounded by the enthusiasm with which the projects we’ve funded, through our Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform”.

This initiative has highlighted several technologies for trial at large scale said Mr Bott. These will be tested for commercial viability through the TSB’s ‘Scaling Up Retrofit of the Nations Homes’ initiative and collaborative programmes such as the AIMC4 project.

The UK construction industry contributes almost £90 billion to the UK economy and supports around 3 million jobs.

The new funding for the sector comes almost exactly a year after the launch of the Government’s industrial strategy and on Wednesday September 11 an Industrial Strategy Conference will take place at Warwick Business School to consider progress on achieving its aims.