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How the General Election Will Impact Project Delivery in the Built Environment Industry

The recent general election has ushered in significant changes that will heavily impact the built environment sector. With Labour’s victory, there is a renewed focus on increasing public spending on housing and infrastructure. This shift brings both opportunities and challenges for contractors. As public spending rises, so does the pressure to deliver projects on time, on budget and with added social value. Here’s some ways the built environment sector can navigate these changes using digital platforms and strategies.

Public Spending to Increase on Housing and Infrastructure

Labour’s manifesto includes ambitious plans for construction. Pledges include making at least three major housing announcements within a fortnight of taking office and requesting councils to identify green belt land that can be reclassified for development. Additionally, Labour aims to introduce a 10-year infrastructure strategy to guide investment plans, [1] providing the private sector with certainty about the project pipeline.

Moreover, planning permissions have dropped to their lowest on record, one of Labour’s key pledges is planning reform that aims to build 1.5 million homes over the next parliament. Currently new home completions have dropped to 160,000 per year.

Planning reform presents a clear agenda that includes a housing recovery plan to quickly boost housebuilding for both buying and renting properties, along with affordable housing. Furthermore, the plan focuses on creating ‘new towns’ with reliable transport links and bustling high streets, fostering new communities.

This surge in public spending signals a golden opportunity for contractors. However, it also comes with heightened expectations for project delivery and accountability. To meet these expectations, contractors will need to adopt innovative solutions and best practices.

Enhanced Focus on Risk Prevention

As public spending increases, there is a greater emphasis on risk prevention. Ensuring that projects are monitored closely is crucial to avoiding delays and budget overruns. Digital platforms like Compliance Chain can play a pivotal role in this aspect. These platforms provide real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities, enabling contractors to track progress, manage risks and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

By leveraging digital tools, contractors can gain visibility into every aspect of their projects, from pre-construction to project completion.  This transparency helps in identifying potential issues early, allowing for proactive measures to mitigate risks. Moreover, digital platforms facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among project stakeholders, ensuring everyone is aligned and informed.

Delivering Social Value

In the context of increased public spending, the need for social value becomes more evident. Public sector bodies are looking for value for money in their projects, and demonstrating social value add is one way to deliver this. Contractors should explore ways to integrate social value into their projects, such as creating employment opportunities, promoting local businesses and implementing sustainable practices.

Labour’s introduction of the Growth and Skills Levy, [2] which will replace the Apprenticeship Levy, aims to ensure qualifications offer value for money and align with industry needs. This levy is designed to cultivate a wider skills base, which is essential for the construction industry. By aligning their projects with these goals, contractors can enhance their bids and improve their chances of winning tenders.

Supporting Risk Reduction and Social Value

Compliance Chain offers robust solutions to help the public sector reduce risks on their projects and assist contractors in managing their supply chain and delivering demonstrable social value. Our platform’s compliance management tools ensure that all regulatory and contractual obligations are met, minimising the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties.

Additionally, Compliance Chain’s features support the integration of social value into project delivery. By tracking and reporting on social value metrics, contractors can provide tangible evidence of their contributions to community development and sustainability. This not only strengthens their position in the tendering process but also builds a positive reputation in the industry.

Preparing for the Future

To thrive in this evolving landscape, contractors must be proactive in adapting to new policies and expectations. Here are a few strategies:

Embrace Digital Transformation: Invest in digital platforms like Compliance Chain to enhance communications between stakeholders, monitor projects, reduce risk and maintain compliance.

Focus on Skills Development: Engage with initiatives like Skills UK to address the skills gap in the industry. Supporting training and development programs will ensure a steady pipeline of skilled workers.

Integrate Social Value: Develop strategies to incorporate social value into your projects. This could involve community engagement, sustainable practices, and supporting local economies. Social value is always advancing, to learn more check out our 2024 guide here.

In conclusion, the Labour government’s increased focus on public spending presents significant opportunities for the built environment industry, 52 percent of construction professionals polled by NBS and Glenigan expect more work after the election.[3]

By leveraging digital platforms and focusing on risk management and social value, contractors can meet heightened expectations and thrive in this new era of public investment. Compliance Chain stands ready to support the industry in navigating these changes and achieving successful project delivery.





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