The Construction Leadership Council has welcomed news in today’s Autumn Statement by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP, signalling further support for the energy costs of businesses and vulnerable users, the Government’s commitment to maintain investment in infrastructure, including transport, renewable energy and broadband, protecting departmental capital budgets, as well as support for a national retrofit programme, one of the Council’s key strategic priorities.

The Government has announced a new commitment of more than £6 billion from 2025 to extend energy efficiency retrofit programmes, to cut energy use of buildings by 15 per cent by 2030, with a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce to drive this. It also reinforced its commitments to carbon reduction made at last year’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Construction Leadership Council Co-Chair Mark Reynolds said: “We fully support the Government’s ambition to improve energy efficiency of buildings nationwide, while slashing carbon emissions. The CLC will give our fullest possible support to the Energy Efficiency Taskforce, ensuring that this work can be delivered as quickly and affordably as possible”.

The Chancellor also confirmed his support for the construction of a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C in Suffolk, and committed to protect expenditure on capital projects for the coming two years including HS2, East West Rail, and the New Hospital Programme.

Mr Reynolds added: “One of our key asks going into today’s Autumn Statement was to avoid cuts to existing programmes of work that are providing jobs and growth across the country. We welcome the Chancellor’s continuing commitment to major investment in our social and transport infrastructure”.

Noting the Government’s strategy for growth, build around themes of energy, infrastructure and innovation, the CLC recognises that UK construction will have a central role as an engine for this growth.

Mr Reynolds said: “The Government has responded to the key issues raised by industry. Our role now is to work together to drive the productivity gains and efficiencies that will underpin future economic success. Better construction productivity and better built assets will drive growth and improve productivity across the economy and public sector”.

“With the wider economy facing steep increases in unemployment over the coming years, we have the opportunity to make construction an employer of first choice, offering higher salaries than almost any sector outside financial services and a committed programme of work”