The Construction Products Association has called on the government to make the UK a better place to invest for building materials firms.

Speaking at the association’s annual lunch, Adrian Barden, the CPA’s chairman, said rising energy prices and the burden of tax and regulation could make the UK unattractive as a manufacturing base.

He said: “The government needs to recognise that competition is no longer just with Europe, but between Europe and other parts of the world that have a much lower cost base.”

He warned that if companies take their business to countries with lower environmental standards, the result would be to take jobs away from the UK or Europe without achieving any environmental benefits.