The government talks about building and its renewed commitment to infrastructure and investment

The relationship between the government and the construction industry was put to the test by budget cuts and programme cancellations. Now ministers have a renewed commitment to infrastructure and investment, and a resolve to work a lot more closely with design and build teams.

Directly after the last election Lord Heseltine was asked for one piece of key advice to give to ministers. He said: “If you have to make cuts, ignore advice from civil servants and continue with capital programmes.”

Initially this sage piece of advice fell on deaf ears and public sector building budgets were slashed in the panic created by spiralling debt and the eurozone crisis. The government’s position on infrastructure has changed radically in the last year and high profile ministers such as Vince Cable and George Osborne are now advocating more investment. Ministers know they need to be doing more than just providing more money.

“If you have to make cuts, ignore advice from civil servants and continue with capital programmes,” Lord Heseltine

The best case-scenario is that by 2015 the construction industry is in a healthy state and that public infrastructure projects are of good quality and represent good value. The government has various construction strategies in place - creating the Major Projects Authority, the National Infrastructure Plan, and PFI review.

Now it wants to cement its commitment to the industry by developing a much closer relationship between departments and executives from the design and build community.

Now Building in partnership with BIS and the Cabinet Office is offering the forum needed for this debate at the Government Construction Summit.