The Scottish Government recently announced a new economic stimulus package which plans to accelerate capital spending on infrastructure projects in the wake of the EU referendum; in response, industry body Homes for Scotland has highlighted the importance of channeling such funding into the delivery of more desperately needed homes.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that capital spending on projects to support and create employment will be accelerated, starting with an additional £100 million of funding in this financial year. The capital funding will be used to speed up delivery of health and other infrastructure projects.
Projects will be assessed for accelerated funding against a range of criteria including how quickly work can start, the number of jobs that will be supported or created, the likely impact on the supply chain and geographic spread.
“The UK Government has not yet taken any meaningful action to alleviate uncertainty or to boost confidence, and there are very real concerns that the damage to the economy and to jobs will be severe and long lasting,” Sturgeon said. “Our Infrastructure Investment Plan is already delivering major infrastructure improvements, with projects worth almost £6 billion currently under construction – we will now inject a further £100 million of spending this year to accelerate planned projects.”
Homes for Scotland has emphasised how funding the delivery of new homes fits the criteria for funding, as it will boost jobs and the economy. “This £100 million funding boost is welcomed as a means to support and stimulate the economy in what are uncertain times for many industries, including the home building sector,” said Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland.
“With projects being assessed for accelerated funding based on key criteria such as the number of jobs that will be supported or created and the likely impact on the supply chain, those focused on the delivery of more new homes should be prioritised given the significant social and economic benefits this offers,” she said.
“Every new home built in Scotland supports four jobs and helps boost economic growth through the supply chain,” she continued. “The industry also contributes to improving health and education outcomes and fighting fuel poverty. We would therefore urge the Scottish Government to prioritise housing when considering how these funds will be allocated in order to secure the thriving economic future we all want to see.”