CICV Forum secures new funding to identify investment areas

Hew Edgar

THE Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has announced it has secured grant funding to help it explore the investment areas which will benefit the wider economy.

The organisation has successfully applied for £40,000 of funding from the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), which will be used to engage with the Fraser of Allander Institute, which focuses on economic research in Scotland.

CSIC’s funding – which was awarded through its i-Con Challenge Fund, set up to help the construction sector develop new approaches to dealing with the challenges brought on by Covid-19 – will allow the Forum to investigate where public bodies can most effectively invest to create the maximum benefit. It will also research the potential impact of a VAT rebate as a market stimulus.

Hew Edgar, chair of the CICV Forum’s futures sub-group and Head of UK Government Relations and City Strategy at RICS said, “This is an important development for the CICV Forum. Funding of this nature considerably increases our range of options and allows us to identify and highlight the investment areas which will return the greatest social and economic benefits, allowing public bodies to target their limited funds.

“Capital spending has a huge knock-on effect on the wider economy and, at £2.94, the construction sector’s multiplier effect is one of the highest in the country. It means that, for every £1 spent on construction output, an additional £2.94 of additional economic activity is generated.

“We will also now look at the potential impact of a VAT rebate, and how this could generate revenue for HMRC through increased corporation tax and increased general economic activity.”

Douglas Morrison, director of operations and future skills at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre added, “Our role is to drive cultural and transformational change across the construction industry. Bodies such as the CICV Forum share that vision and, in the short space of time in which it has been operating, it has proved itself to be innovative, focused and determined in its mission to improve the long-term prospects of the sector.

“We hope this funding will assist its efforts to identify new opportunities for the industry and to drive change through both commercial and publicly-funded initiatives.”

Mairi Spowage, deputy director of the Fraser of Allander Institute commented, “The FoA works closely with various partners, including those in business, the public and the third sector and we are pleased to be able to help facilitate the CICV Forum’s important research. The Forum has assembled a formidable pool of industry expertise since it was established at the onset of the pandemic shutdown and we are confident that this funding will allow it to carry on and expand its valuable work.”