Innovative construction hubs could create 124,000 green jobs and drive £4.9bn of investment in the government’s ‘levelling up’ target, according to a new report by Mace
‘The new normal – levelling up in a post-Covid world’ outlines the critical role that construction has to play in the delivery of the government’s levelling-up agenda and the UK’s journey to net-zero.
The UK suffers from some of the worst regional economic inequality in the developed world, with deprived areas across the country suffering from a historic lack of investment, outdated physical and digital infrastructure, in turn driving poor productivity and health outcomes.
Mace’s report suggests that the UK could save £2.8bn annual on its current pipeline of delivery, enough to triple the investment going into the North West region every year or increase tenfold the investment into the East Midlands.
This can only be achieved if we, as an industry, adapt a greener approach.
The report puts forward a bold vision of a regional network of construction manufacturing hubs, focussing on new growth in the areas that need it most.
The modelling suggests that such an approach could create up to 124,000 green jobs in logistics and manufacturing in target areas, accelerating growth in regions such as the East Midlands and the North West.
Ambitious plans for levelling up the UK economy
Lord O’Neill of Gatley, vice chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “The much-needed economic recovery from Covid must account for existing regional inequalities across the UK.
“We mustn’t miss this opportunity to rebalance our economy properly; rather than replicating past mistakes and leaving the North still unfairly left behind.
“The construction industry is a cornerstone of the regional economy, a huge growth multiplier and has a critical role to play in levelling up. This report lays clear the scope of opportunity on offer – but only if Government and industry can work together to make it happen.”
Mark Reynolds, Mace’s group chief executive, added: “By using innovative methodologies as a catalyst, construction can super-charge the levelling up agenda.
“If the government is to deliver its ambitious plans for levelling up the UK economy, we must see a radical transformation in how our industry operates.
“We cannot expect radically different outcomes if we adopt the same approaches we always have. To see real change we must be prepared to do things differently.
“It is vital that the industry and government consider the findings of this research and place ‘construction-to-production’ at the heart of accelerating the levelling-up of the UK’s regions.
“By introducing innovative construction hubs, we can create much needed green jobs and generate billions in new investment, transforming opportunities for people in the country’s most deprived areas.”