A week since the big vote happened, how is the construction industry taking the news following Brexit.
Take a look at what the industry had to say about it.
Richard Beresford, Chief Executive, National Federation of Builders:
“Construction, and particularly house building, is a reliable indicator of how well the economy is doing. When the industry fares badly, so does the rest of the economy. It is not the other way around. This is an opportunity in a time of great uncertainty to show that investment in construction is vital for reinvigorating the economy after this temporary shock. UK Construction Week will come at a pivotal time for the industry when it needs to come together, and show that UK has the industrial capacity and intellectual capital to thrive outside the EU.”
Dr Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive, Construction Products Association
“Despite the recent political upheaval and any uncertainty, the fundamental demand for housing, buildings and infrastructure will not change dramatically, whatever our relationship with Europe. UK Construction Week represents a valuable opportunity for product manufacturers and distributors to come together with clients and the wider supply chain, and help shape the future of both our businesses and the wider construction industry.”
James Talman, Chief Executive, NFRC
“The decision has been made and now it is time to get on with it in a positive manner, reflecting on all opinions, and being confident in our own ability, as an industry, to be the best in Europe and further afield.”
Nathan Garnett, Event Director, UK Construction Week:
“A new dawn for UK construction begins here. It is inevitable that our industry will experience a period of uncertainty and adjustment, but the construction sector has proved time and time again to be incredibly resilient. Now the result of the referendum is clear, we, as an industry, must move forward together with confidence. Leaving the EU will likely mean UK construction firms will be looking to invest in British products and services like never before. The UK boasts many long term infrastructure projects and the Bank of England have made sound contingency plans for leaving the EU. The UK also has the foundations for a boom in house building, and the industry must and will be committed to meeting the national need for housing. Leaving the EU will inevitably attract new investors to our shores offering new opportunities, and that will happen sooner rather than later. The last few weeks and months have been uncertain for the UK construction industry, but now is the time to embrace the change and these new opportunities. This October UK Construction Week will celebrate this vitally important sector for the UK economy and it will now be centre stage for leaders and mentors to strategise and lead us into a new era for UK Construction.”
Peter Bonfield, CEO, BRE Group
"We currently benefit from a wonderful array of very talented people who have joined us from across the EU and further afield, making us strong. As a lead partner at UK Construction Week this October, it could not come at a better time for us to champion the excellence we have in this country. The BRE will continue to work hard to ensure we are a magnet for the best and brightest people from Europe and the rest of the world. In or out of the EU, these special characteristics remain, and we will continue to deliver these advantages for our customers against our mission to Build a better world together."
Jane Duncan, RIBA President Elect
"UK architecture talent is incredibly resilient and the RIBA will continue to ensure that our profession has a strong voice and a bright future in the coming weeks, months and years. RIBA is absolutely committed to driving change and increasing awareness and understanding of the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda through all its work. As a lead partner to UK Construction Week, and having taken part in its advisory group on Diversity in Construction, I am keen that we seize the opportunity to champion this important agenda when the industry comes together in October."
Federation of Master Builders, Chief Executive Brian Berry:
“The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will focus minds on the need to grow and develop home grown talent. By investing more in apprenticeships and training and reducing our reliance on temporary migrant workers we have a unique opportunity to create a more sustainable skills base for the construction industry. Meeting the challenge of training a new generation of workers will help us to ensure that the UK continues to have one of the most innovative and exciting construction industries in the world.”
Ray Perry, CEO, BIFM:
“Facilities management is a resilient industry that in light of the EU referendum will find new ways of working and adapting business models to the challenges it is presented with.Industry trends are seeing facilities management professionals becoming increasingly embedded in the construction processes as the whole life-cycle and operational measures are considered from project initiation. This is in part, because of the increased recognition of the vital role of facilities management in supporting both business performance and the economy, whether delivering sustainable and operational outcomes, or driving workforce productivity. Therefore UK Construction Week presents an excellent opportunity for those working across the built environment to come together, to consult and discuss, and ensure that the progress that has been made in this area continues in the months and years ahead.”
Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive, Structural Timber Association
“Now is the time for the structural timber industry to stand resolutely together and seek to embrace any opportunities that this change may bring. Timber Expo at UK Construction Week this October will represent the perfect opportunity to do just that”
Laura Smith, CBI Head of Housing, said:
“With every £1 of investment into the UK’s construction industry generating £2.64 in the wider economy, it is vitally important that we have a construction industry firing on all cylinders. So it’s important for the Government to communicate and demonstrate that the UK is open for business and investment by keeping critical infrastructure projects and spending decisions on track. UK Construction Week will provide a great opportunity for the industry to come together and agree priorities moving forwards”
Sonia Dunlop, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Solar Trade Association
“Despite this decision to leave the EU, the Solar Trade Association urges the UK government to maintain its 15% renewable target by 2020 and establish further targets thereafter in line with the Carbon Budgets and the UK’s 80% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2050. There will now be a lot of work to do to renegotiate various deals, laws and treaties in the energy field – not least the UK’s contribution within the Paris Agreement. We urge the UK to maintain its commitment to the transition to a zero carbon economy throughout this process.”
Nicolas Khalili RIBA ARB PM, HWO Architects Managing Director
This is London’s housing ‘finest hour’. And the solution lies in London’s underused public land. Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Housebuilders and investment funds all need to work together. It’s time our new mayor shows his mettle and bang heads together.
Councillor Julie Dore, leader of the Sheffield council,
“At a time of great uncertainty following last week’s referendum, this is a real boost for Sheffield and the City Region. A high speed rail line running into the centre of Sheffield will also play a huge part in helping us to regenerate and transform the city centre.
Commercial secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill
"As the Chancellor has said, the referendum result is even more of an instruction to deliver on our work to build a Northern Powerhouse and so it is hugely encouraging that the region’s leaders are working together to set out their long term priorities.”
Mike Petter, Chairman, Considerate Constructors Scheme:
"In light of the EU Referendum result, the potential consequences to the future supply of the much-needed workforce means that creating a positive image of the construction industry is of paramount importance - arguably now more than ever before. We are delighted to be working with UK Construction Week this October, and believe that together we can put construction in an extremely positive light at a crucial time.”
Richard Catt CEO of the CFA (Contract Flooring Association)
“It is business as usual and we have some very important ongoing projects and areas of development we need to, and will, complete. For members, I believe the same essentially applies. I would suggest the following as broad advice:
Beware of hype - Try to read through the noise - Avoid knee jerk and hasty decisions
...I think the overall message we would send is “keep calm and carry on”. But we are good at that in the flooring industry. Adaptable, flexible, problem solvers.
John Field, CIBSE President :
“We do not anticipate any significant alteration in the very positive engagement we maintain with members across the globe and suggest that the referendum result creates significant opportunities and commitments to increase engagement with regional, national and global interests.”
Lord Bamford, Chairman JCB:
“I really don’t think it will make a blind bit of difference to trade with Europe. There has been far too much scaremongering about things like jobs. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to stop trade. I don’t think we or Brussels will put up trade barriers.”
Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin
"Infrastructure investment has become more important not less, and we could be certain that investment will continue".
Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel:
"It is now more essential than ever to create the right business conditions in the UK that allow the steel industry to survive, invest and thrive. This will ensure that our vital supply chains, of which construction is a major player, can rely on the production of steel in the UK so we are self-sufficient and can never be left at the mercy of others.
“We need to see all major projects, from HS2 to Hinkley Point to airport expansion, all using British Steel instead of procuring from foreign companies that offer no social value to the UK and its communities and economy”.
Patrick Flaherty, AECOM Chief Executive, UK & Ireland:
“At AECOM, we have demonstrated our ability to grow while dealing with change. As a global company, we serve clients all over the world from our offices in the UK. Our strong team, diversification strategy and international outlook equip us with long-term resilience. The UK must retain its focus “.... on energy security and energy independence, as well as progressing the UK’s ambitious infrastructure pipeline. Schemes such as HS2, Crossrail 2 and the Northern Powerhouse programme are vital to the country’s ability to compete on a global stage, which is more crucial than ever due to this referendum result.”
Richard Walsh, Managing Director of Pennine Stone:
“The decision will not change the way Pennine Stone fundamentally works as a company. We will continue to deliver the level of service and supply of materials required by all of our clients, both now and in the months and years ahead, in order to perpetuate growth. Our expectation is that the UK’s economy will remain strong following the Brexit result.”
Mark Robinson, Chief Executive at Scape Group:
“One area that is unlikely to change any time soon is procurement... The UK will always need a robust system of procurement that delivers value for both taxpayers and the public sector.”
Philip Woolner, Commercial Director at Cheffins:
“Ultimately, the UK, and London and Cambridge in particular, is such an attractive market for overseas investment that any knock-on effect is likely to be short-lived. The fundamental prospects of business will still be strong.”
Randeesh Sandhu, CEO of Urban Exposure:
“The fundamentals underpinning the UK housing market still remain attractive.
“The UK still has unique appeal as a market for international purchasers – from the mixture of characteristics including our quality of life, culture and diversity, ownership security and legal system, time zone advantages for international business, language, schooling and education. Over the medium to long term we do not expect housing markets to change drastically as a result of the vote.”
The Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change:
“Investment in renewable energy has increased by 42% since 2010. In 2014, 30% of all of Europe’s renewable energy investment took place in the UK. Annual support for renewables is expected to double during this Parliament to more than £10 billion. Last year I set out a clear vision for the future of our energy system. We said that security of supply would be our first priority. Since then we have consulted on changes to the capacity market which has further secured our position. We are likely to see significant investment following the auction later this year. Beyond that, we will continue to invest in clean energy.
As investors and businesses, you can be confident we remain committed to building a secure, affordable low carbon infrastructure fit for the 21st Century.”
Richard Ogden, Chief Executive, BuildOffsite
"Let me suggest that when the newsworthiness of the Brexit decision has gone away and the media hacks and the political classes have moved on - some fundamentals will loom large.
The UK is very much open for business and international trade is our lifeblood. The UK remains one of the world’s largest economies and global investors understand that in increasingly uncertain times investing in the UK makes business sense. The best talent will still want to come here to build careers and run businesses. English will still be the European and the Global language of business.
I have no time for negativity and I have absolute confidence that those fundamentals that make the UK a great place to live and work will continue to drive the economy. However, after a lifetime working in the construction industry I am acutely aware that a dynamic economy requires a dynamic construction industry with the capacity to deliver the buildings and infrastructure needed to sustain growth and investment. You can’t have one without the other.
As the UK reaches out to a global market now is the time for the construction industry to show real leadership and to take those hard decisions needed to transform the productivity and performance of the industry and to offer the value that will further encourage inward and domestic investment alongside success in overseas markets. This is a time for innovation and imagination for collaboration and for Big Ideas. Let’s get on with the job.’’