East Anglia: Key projects on construction industry ‘wish list’

THE proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station is on a list of 72 projects which the UK’s construction industry would most like to see “unlocked” by Government action.

Also on the list, revealed by industry publication Construction News, are the construction of a new link between the main East Anglian rail line and the East Suffolk branch in Ipswich, to improve the Felixstowe-Nuneaton rail freight route, and the shelved upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire.

The “wish list” has been compiled by seven trade bodies within the construction sector as part of a report, Unlocking Growth in UK Construction, which has been produced ahead of the expected announcement by Chancellor George Osborne of support for some key infrastructure projects in his Autumn Statement next week.

The organisations include the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association, the Federation of Master Builders, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the National Federation of Builders and the Scottish Building Federation.

Road schemes feature heavily on the list, accounting for more than a quarter of the 72 developments identified, and nuclear energy also features strongly with Sizewell C joined by the plans for new power stations at Hinkley in Somerset and Wylfa on Anglesea, North Wales.

However, a number of smaller schemes are also on the list, including a new dental surgery in Bury St Edmunds.

Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said: “The Government has identified construction as a key sector in its growth strategy, yet our economic forecasts currently foresee no growth in the industry until 2014. Our report’s recommendations are practical measures to boost growth in the industry and the economy, without undermining the plan for deficit reduction, and we urge the Government to take them forward.”