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by Kate Shannon
19 January 2015
Building a better future - construction in Scotland

Building a better future - construction in Scotland

Construction in Scotland has had a tough few years, having been particularly affected by the economic downturn.

However, there are signs that things are looking up for the industry.

According to a business survey carried out for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, the construction industry experienced an “extremely successful” end to last year. Figures showed firms reported an increase in contracts, investment and work in progress in the final months of 2014.

The survey also found the number of construction firms experiencing a rise in work in progress was at its highest since 2007. 

Almost 500 firms in construction, financial and business services, manufacturing, retail and wholesale and tourism responded to the quarterly survey, carried out in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute.

In October, the new Construction Scotland Innovation Centre was launched. It is hoped it will become the engine behind business innovation growth and a leading centre for construction expertise.

The construction industry underpins all of Scotland’s key sectors

The centre will provide the 31,000-plus businesses involved in the sector with a one-stop shop for accessing a team of academic experts and public support.
It has been supported by the Scottish Funding Council with a total funding package of £9.3m, with additional financial support from the private sector. The centre is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and 11 Scottish universities.

Launching the new centre, then Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has many creative, innovative companies and academic institutions capable of identifying growth opportunities and delivering industry solutions.

“We are also investing through the Scottish Funding Council £124 million over six years in a network of Scottish Innovation Centres allowing us to boost labour productivity and build on our highly-skilled workforces.

“Innovation Centres are about developing the best environment for businesses and academia to interact, taking innovative ambitious projects of excellence that have the potential to bring millions more to the economy and create thousands of jobs.

“The construction industry underpins all of Scotland’s key sectors and therefore underpins the success of our whole economy. Working together we can create the best environment for our businesses to thrive in partnership with academia to achieve our goals and aspirations for the sector.”

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