Construction the catalyst for growth
The fortunes of the woodworking industry and products that our members make are very much linked to the construction sector. With every £1 invested in construction generating £3 in total economic activity, and 90% of building materials made in the UK, construction is crucial to growth. This potential of the construction industry to drive growth and employment, not just on site, but also in the supply chain, should be fully accounted for when deciding policies and priorities.
We have been lobbying directly to Government and Shadow Ministers, including attending an event at Parliament with Business Secretary, Vice Cable.
Stagnation in the construction and housing markets, combined with uncertainty and a lack of confidence has hit the industry hard over the last few years - 2011 saw a 12% reduction in turnover across our sector and a 7% fall in the number of companies operating - a decline that continued into 2012. We are now seeing upwards momentum and a gradual increase in sales but late payment, restricted cashflow and high fuel & energy costs continue to be barriers to growth.