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Construction: Pendle

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps he has taken to support the construction industry in Pendle constituency; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government is actively working to help all construction firms including those in Pendle.

Returning the UK to sustainable and balanced growth is a key priority for the Government and construction has a central role to play in this. Working closely with the construction industry, we are therefore:

Removing barriers to growth by tackling the planning system, the burden of regulation and access to finance. The Government is also looking at a number of other issues which may constrain the industry's ability to respond to future growth such as a lack of skills.

Stimulating infrastructure development and improvement. The National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) sets out the overarching view of our forthcoming infrastructure needs. It contains major spending commitments to improve our transport and broadband networks as well as steps to attract major new private sector investment. It has identified a pipeline of over 500 projects, including the top 40 priority infrastructure investments that are critical for growth.

Ensuring Government plays a full role as a key customer of the industry. The public sector accounts for about 30% of the construction industry's output.

Looking for new opportunities and identifying how they can best be exploited including realising the opportunities of the developing green economy, overseas markets and more effective use of ICT through Building Information Management (BIM).

Stimulating the house building industry. We are committed to seeing a major increase in the supply of new homes where they are needed and wanted. Our housing strategy, ‘Laying the Foundations—A Housing Strategy for England’, published last November, announced an ambitious package of measures to increase significantly the supply of affordable homes. This includes £1.34 billion to support developers and local partners in investing in new homes and infrastructure through the £570 million Get Britain Building investment fund which will unlock stalled housing sites and enable the building of up to 16,000 new homes and the £770 million Growing Places Fund which is allowing local enterprise partnerships to invest in infrastructure that will help to create new homes and jobs.

On 6 September we announced a further major housing and planning package, which includes £780 million to unlock 70,000 new homes and create 140,000 new jobs plus a £10 billion guarantee to support investment in new homes.

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