UK’s biggest builder pledges £1bn spend with SMEs

The UK’s largest construction company has announced that it will be spending a record £1 billion with small businesses in 2014.  

Balfour Beatty made the announcement on 27 May to coincide with a visit by Prime Minister David Cameron to one of its construction sites in London.

The company said the £1 billion represented a 33 per cent increase in its 2013 small business spend. Balfour Beatty has more than 8,000 supply chain partners, over 75 per cent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), working on over 1,000 live projects across the UK at any one time.

It said the 2014 spending commitment would also contribute to supporting around 200,000 jobs within smaller businesses. 

Nicholas Pollard, the company’s chief executive, said: “Small businesses create local jobs and apprenticeships and they are the innovators, engineers and exporters of the future. We are committed to supporting them so that we can build a better Britain together.”

The Balfour Beatty commitment reflects increasing confidence in the construction sector, also underlined by recent figures in the Glenigan Index, a leading indicator of construction activity in the UK.

It revealed that the number of projects starting on site from January to March was 15 per cent higher than a year ago, driven by double digit growth in the residential, non-residential and civil engineering sectors.

With the sector recovering, and new opportunities opening up, construction businesses are likely to benefit from having access to professional advisers experienced in construction issues.

At Palmers Solicitors, we can provide comprehensive advice and guidance to construction companies on all aspects of construction law, including advising on and drafting contracts for new work, applications for payments and liquidated and ascertained damages. We can also advise on construction procurement related issues. For more information, please contact Adam Davis.