Architects and civil engineering firm join Jack Kirkland in endorsing oppposition party ahead of general election 

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The chairman of contractor Bowmer & Kirkland has given his backing to the Labour Party ahead of the general election on July 4. 

Jack Kirkland was one of 120 business leaders to sign a letter to The Times this morning calling for change after a decade of “instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus”. 

The boss of the £1.2bn contractor was joined by a handful of others from the built environment. 

They included builders such as Eleanor Deeley, joint managing director of Midlands developer The Deeley Group, and Tom Carney, managing director of civils contractor Huyton Asphalt Civils. 

From the architectural world, Alexandra Depledge, chief executive of architectural tech firm Resi, and Ben Evans, chief executive of the company behind the London Design Festival and the London Design Biennale, added their signatures. 

The letter said that the UK had “the potential to be one of the strongest economies in the world”, but that it was being held back by “lack of political stability and the absence of consistent economic strategy”.  

“The country has been denied the skills and infrastructure it needs to flourish,” it said. 

“We are looking for a government that will partner fiscal discipline with a long-term growth strategy, working in partnership with the private sector to drive innovation and investment to build digital and physical capital and fix our skills system.  

“This is the only way to put us on track for sustained productivity growth.” 

>> Read more: Election focus 2024: policy tracker

It said that Labour had shown it had changed and that it wanted to work with business. 

“We should now give it the chance to change the country and lead Britain into the future,” it added. 

“We are in urgent need of a new outlook to break free from the stagnation of the past decade and we hope by taking this public stand we might persuade others of that need too.” 

Election focus 


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As thoughts turn towards the next general election, the UK is facing some serious problems.

Low growth, flatlining productivity, question marks over net zero funding and capability, skills shortages and a worsening housing crisis all amount to a daunting in-tray for the next government.

This year’s general election therefore has very high stakes for the built environment and the economy as a whole. For this reason, Building is launching its most in-depth election coverage yet, helping the industry to understand the issues in play and helping to amplify construction’s voice so that the government hears it loud and clear.

We kicked off with the first piece in a three-parter looking at the state of play across three key topic areas, namely project delivery, housing and planning, net zero. Part two, looking at building safety, affordable housing and skills and education, is here.

Building is investigating the funding gaps facing the next government’s public sector building programmes, looking at the policy options available to the political parties. 

In the coming months our Building Talks podcast will focus on perhaps the hottest political topic: the housing crisis. The podcast will feature interviews with top industry names who side-step soundbites in favour of in-depth discussions.

As the main parties ramp up their policy announcements, we will keep you up to date with their latest pledges on our website through our “policy tracker”.