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Minister Nadhim Zahawi reveals plan to speed up construction projects

Today it has been announced that minister Nadhim Zahawi is speaking with government departments in order to identify which construction projects could be accelerated in order to support the industries return to site in the coming weeks.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many larger construction projects have had to be put on hold in order to abide with stronger health and safety rules which have come into play to protect construction workers. The construction minister has said that in order to support the economy and get it growing again, he will be looking into getting jobs on site completed faster and more efficiently. “I’m talking to other departments to see what other projects we can also accelerate or bring forward because, in terms of prompting the economy to incentivise growth, infrastructure is incredibly important.”

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This news follows the announcement last week that the HS2 construction project will be proceeding, showing the government’s commitment to infrastructure spending, “I hope the industry is pleased to see us deliver on the HS2 project,” he said. “I think that’s gone down incredibly well.”

When speaking to the Large Contractors Forum, Nadhim Zahaw said that in the immediate future the government’s various financial support measures would assist and support the construction industry in order to get things moving again following the slowdown of work. Zahaw also claimed that around £300m of loads were being agreed through loan schemes for larger businesses.

Simon Carr (Henry Boot Construction, Managing Director) has raised his concerns with the minister regarding the delays to projects which have been nationwide following the Corona Virus outbreak. For many, delays to projects have meant extremely costly contractual disputes with clients and site managers. In response to this, Zahawi said that he was looking into the issue, “The CLC taskforce is currently developing guidance on how we resolve some of the contractual disputes arising from the COVID-19 challenge. You should expect to see something on this in the coming weeks”.

Zahawi has also added that the government would be reviewing all Covid-19 measures over the coming weeks, especially in the construction industry, to ensure the industry is ready to safely return to the workplace. “We are committed to ensuring a vibrant and thriving construction sector emerges from this crisis, so that it can make a really positive contribution [to the economy]” he said.

More updates on this matter coming soon.