More than 120 of the largest consultants rank their priorities to boost construction in an exclusive survey for Building

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Providing public sector investment certainty should be the number one post-election priority for the next government to boost construction, according to the industry’s largest consultants.

A survey carried out by Building as part of its annual Top 150 Consultants research reveals consultants think providing certainty - by allowing visibility of a pipeline of committed projects or programmes - should be the biggest construction industry priority post 4 July.

Respondents were asked to rank six policy areas in terms of their importance. Building then calculated an overall score for each policy area based on the responses.

Nearly half (47%) of the 129 respondents cited public sector investment certainty as the top priority with a score of 4.98.

One architectural services firm said: “Certainty of pipeline allows planned investment. The market has deteriorated to a stop/start programme reducing efficiency and quality and increasing risk.”

A major engineering company said: “A number of our projects have been impacted by the uncertainty around public sector investment.”

The second top priority was planning/infrastructure reform, which was selected as the biggest issue by a third of respondents and had a score of 4.67.

This was followed by skills (which scored 3.74), sustainability/net zero (3.33) and procurement reform (2.28).

Tax reform was given the lowest priority, cited as top priority by just one out of 129 respondents.

The poll was completed by quantity surveyors, engineers, architects and project managers between early May and mid-June. Most responses were submitted after Sunak called the election on 22 May.

>>See also: Who’s who in Labour’s would-be cabinet

The full Top 150 data tables, which rank firms according to their fee income, will be published in September along with analysis and the results of an exclusive sentiment survey.

The findings follow a separate reader poll by Building showing a shift in support towards Labour among construction professionals.

Election focus 

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With the general election fast approaching, 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 election therefore comes with very high stakes for the built environment and the economy as a whole. Building’s coverage aims to help the industry understand the issues and amplify construction’s voice so that the parties hear it loud and clear.