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Wates and Mace are among contractors to have welcomed news that the government plans to rebuild the UK economy with a £250bn programme to accelerate the construction of schools, hospitals, roads and railways, dubbed ‘Project Speed’.
A taskforce headed by chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to
be announced by Johnson this week. It will examine public investment projects
and aims to remove bottlenecks to speed up delivery times.
Meanwhile, Johnson has also promised funding of £1bn for 50
major school building projects in England as well as a further £560m for
repairs to existing buildings.
Commenting on the plans for ‘Project Speed’, Mark Reynolds,
Mace Group CEO, said: “The construction and infrastructure sectors have a
critical role to play in helping to support our economic recovery from the
pandemic. The Prime Minister has set out the grand scale of his ambitions, and
it is clear that we have a huge opportunity as we work to ‘build ourselves back
“It is vital that we do everything we can to ensure
this promised historic wave of investment will actually deliver the economic
growth we so desperately need. That means we must prioritise innovative,
offsite and low carbon construction solutions – and it means targetting the
creation of sustainable jobs and social value in the places where they are
Commenting on the extra investment for schools, Steve Beechey,
group strategy director and education lead at Wates, said: “We very much
welcome today’s announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the new ten-year
school rebuilding programme which will see more than £1 billion in funding
pumped into the sector.
“It is this scale of commitment and focus on the next
generation that will make a huge impact in boosting the economy post-covid, and
enable us to deliver much needed investment into local communities across the
“Long term planning is exactly what is needed to upgrade our
schools estate and this decade-long initiative will deliver valuable jobs,
educational facilities and community hubs in the areas that need it most.
“We also welcome the government’s commitment to greener,
more sustainable buildings delivered using modern methods of construction such
as offsite manufacturing, which we provide from our award-winning purpose built
facility in the Midlands.
“To echo Mr Johnson’s words, access to the best possible
education is essential to our social infrastructure, in order for young people
to grow, thrive and make their own positive impact on the world.”