Scotland construction 'lacks data' on spends and bids

By Dominic Ellis
Reimagining Scotland’s Construction Industry - 2021 report says improvements in data and tech are still needed...

Scotland's construction sector lacks data on public sector spending and tender bids which is hindering improvement in processes in a bepsoke era, according to the Reimagining Scotland’s Construction Industry - 2021 report. 

While improvements around the use of data and tech are still needed, the report highlights that the industry seems cautiously optimistic that the rising tide of awareness on environmental, social and governance considerations - coupled with sustainable construction needs triggered by net zero targets - has the potential to spur the construction sector’s own green industrial revolution.

“Appetite from private and public sector clients tendering new projects is heavily geared towards supporting the push to meet national net zero targets, and this presents a golden opportunity for the sector to seize and drive forward a more sustainable agenda," said Anne Struckmeier, Construction a nd Engineering Partner at Addleshaw Goddard.

Barriers to delivering a more modern construction sector also remain high because of the political uncertainty surrounding Scottish independence and future relationship with Europe, the report states.

The survey, conducted among 43 firms in the sector, found that in the coming six months respondents were generally positive about their expectations across several indicators, including turnover and employment levels.  Findings also suggested that expected capacity is more positive than Scotland’s economy as a whole, and also highlighted that:

  • On average, firms expected to operate between 76-99% of normal capacity, with only 10% of businesses expected to fall below 50% of normal capacity
  • Only 6% of businesses in the construction sector expressed that it was unlikely they would survive over the next 6 months, with 82% reporting that it was somewhat or very likely that they would survive
  • While 74% of business reported their cashflow positions were secure or very secure, just over 1 in 5 reported that their cashflow positions were insecure
  • 42% of business said the level of government support has been sufficient or very sufficient, this was a slightly higher share of those who felt support was sufficient than Scotland as a whole (38.5%)
  • 34% of businesses expressed that the level of government support for their business was somewhat or very insufficient for their survival, which was lower than the Scottish average (41%)
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