12 December 2016 #Construction
With the New Year round the corner, we look ahead to 2017 and pick out four of the key themes we expect to be reading and writing about, with a recap on where we are now.
Many of my contacts are reporting that they have seen an acceleration in work in the past few months, with the low value of sterling meaning that international investors are finding their money goes further.
As yet, there have not been any wholesale moves by major businesses out of the UK, and there have even been some moves into the UK, such as Google announcing plans to open a new HQ on its King’s Cross Campus.
We will also be keeping an eye on international investment, in particular through our Commonwealth Environmental Investment Network (www.theceip.com).
As I highlighted in my article after the referendum in June, there is a huge risk to the industry if EU migrant workers are unable to work in UK construction. However, we have some comfort from the business secretary Sajid Javid having cited construction as an industry that must be protected in Brexit negotiations in relation to employing EU migrant workers.
The long-term solution, though, cannot lie outside the UK and more work needs to be done to raise the profile of the wealth of careers in the construction industry and attract and retain young talent. Several members of the Construction team here at Clarkslegal are members of Generation for Change (G4C), an off-shoot of Constructing Excellence, and see it as a platform to learn and to inspire.
More and more clients are making use of specialist contractors and sub-contractors, rather than relying on generalist contractors. This is a positive move, both for the specialists who are becoming sought after and the clients who are benefitting from specialist expertise, but it brings with it considerations such as who will pay for – and benefit directly from – the specialist’s expertise, and who else in the chain needs a legal relationship with them.
The construction industry is stepping into a revolution. Innovation and new technology are driving change, to create smarter buildings and infrastructure swiftly, sustainably and safely. Professionals are looking at ways of “thinking outside the box” with the aid of new technology to monitor developments, and developing methods to control and minimise delay, overspend and risk.
If you have a brilliant idea but need help getting it off the ground, consider contacting Forbury Investment Network (www.forburyinvest.com) which matches visionary investors with early stage innovative technology companies – and once you’re up and running and in the market, we can help ensure the project contractual documents support the use of your innovation.