CLC boss ‘disappointed’ by government’s offsite take-up

8th November, 2019

The chairman of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has said public spending on offsite construction is "crucial" if the sector is to thrive, as he expressed disappointment at slow government take-up.

Recently, Construction News exclusively revealed that three of the five government departments that had committed to a "presumption in favour of offsite" by 2019 had not awarded any contracts with an offsite component in the first eight months of this year.

Reacting to the figures, CLC chairman and Thames Tideway chief executive Andy Mitchell (pictured) said: "Although there has been clear progress made in some areas, these disappointing figures show that we are some way from the widespread presumption of offsite construction across the public sector promised by the government in 2017.

"The push for more offsite and MMC [modern methods of construction] across the government's capital spend is crucial if the sector is going to improve productivity, address the skills shortage and reduce our carbon footprint."

Mr Mitchell added that departments across government should urgently look to take advantage of the benefits of offsite methods across their capital programmes.

Also reacting to CN's findings, Ilke Homes executive director of growth, Matthew Bench, said: "It is important that the government leads by example in supporting - and using - this vital aspect of modern construction.

"For those of us banging the drum for offsite manufacturing, we must make it clear to national and local government that we are open for business and collaboration. The industry must work hand-in-hand with government departments."

An Infrastructure and Projects Authority spokesman, replying on behalf of the government, said of CN's initial findings that real progress was being made, and that the government wanted to work with the industry to increase the number of projects delivered through modern methods.

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