Willmott Dixon responds to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Peter Owen, managing director of the Midlands operation of construction firm Willmott Dixon, said:

Investment in Schools

“George Osborne has announced an additional £600m to support local authorities with the greatest demographic pressures.

“The Midlands certainly qualifies: in Birmingham alone, 10,000 additional primary school places will be needed by 2015. Coventry requires a further 5,000 and in Nottingham there is a 7,800 shortfall.

“Although the funding is intended to deliver just 40,000 school places, the news is better than we could have hoped for in the current climate. It’s also good news for children – better school buildings deliver improvements in teaching and learning – whilst for the construction industry it is welcome lifeline.”

Housing

“The £400m Get Britain Building investment fund is intended to pump prime residential sites which have planning permission but lack development finance.

“There are many such sites lying idle around the Midlands. However, development finance is not always the issue: much of it is to do with confidence, and a developer’s capacity to take on risk.

“The introduction of a new build indemnity scheme, to increase the supply of affordable mortgage finance, means buyers will be able to purchase new homes with just a five per cent deposit. This will undoubtedly provide house builders with a cushion.

“Offering discounts of up to 50 per cent for social tenants who want to purchase their own home, through a reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme, is intended to help aspiring home owners. The returns from the scheme will be channeled into new affordable homes, with the Government planning to deliver an additional 170,000.

“This is welcome news for the construction industry.”

 

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