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Tories look to boost housebuilding

More than 25,000 additional new private sector homes to be built by 2020 – that’s the pledge from this year’s Conservative Party Conference, where a new £3bn Home Building Fund was announced.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Philip Hammond say they recognise the barrier to building new homes is often finance, especially for small builders.  So the fund will deliver loans of £250,000 to £250 million, with a minimum development size of five homes, and priority given to schemes that would not progress quickly without this funding injection.

Applicants will have to demonstrate that without this financing, their scheme would not progress as quickly – or at all.

Meanwhile, a further £2bn has been earmarked for longer-term funding for infrastructure in the hope of creating up to 200,000 extra homes in coming years, especially on brownfield land.

Tackling the housing shortage is – of course – a great way to boost the construction industry.  But turning the plan into reality can only be achieved if we manage to attract new blood into our sector.

Mr Javid has already declared that EU builders will continue to be welcomed in post-Brexit Britain in order to help achieve the ambitious housebuilding target.  And given that comments about maintaining the free movement of highly skilled people between financial institutions and businesses have already been made, it’s great to see builders are starting to be recognised as essential to the economy too.

After all, becoming a skilled builder in whichever trade you chose – bricklaying, joinery, plastering – is a recognised career.  It takes training and time to learn all the required skills, keep up-to-date with new methods and materials, ensure regulations are being met, and keep a sharp eye on profitability.  In fact you could say the only real distinction between finance and building is the specific skill that needs to be mastered

Construction needs to be seen by UK youngsters as a more desirable career.  Hudson Contract’s pay trends clearly demonstrate that skilled professionals can earn good money.  But all the while we have a shortage, it remains important that we can continue to attract those from outside the UK easily.

Could your firm’s housing project qualify for financing? Find out here

David Jackson

David Jackson

Founder & Chairman, Hudson Contract

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