An innovative online tool is helping Scottish construction firms find out more about the future pipeline of public sector projects around the country.
It gives firms access to details of more than 1,150 future infrastructure projects – estimated to be worth nearly £8.5 billion – across public sectors including education, health, housing and flood prevention.
More than half (60%) of these projects are below £2 million in value, thanks to a focus on delivering new opportunities to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The system is updated every six months to reflect new projects coming into the pipeline.
By providing greater transparency on future workload, it was designed to help businesses plan better and maintain investment in their future training needs.
It will allow businesses to invest correctly and recruit accordingly, as well as build stronger partnerships within supply chains.”
Peter Reekie, chief executive, Scottish Futures Trust.
It also encourages collaboration between public sector organisations through a greater understanding of their respective construction pipelines.
Construction projects covered include new builds, refurbishments, maintenance works and road infrastructure as far into the future as 2028.
Users can easily explore a raft of information that includes the chosen procurement route and procuring authority, as well as the contract value and sector.
‘Strong levels of engagement’
Peter Reekie, chief executive of the SFT and chairman of the executive group of the SCLF, said: “Providing businesses working in the construction sector with this detailed information creates greater confidence through improved project transparency.
“As a result, it will allow businesses to invest correctly and recruit accordingly, as well as build stronger partnerships within supply chains.
“Building the construction pipeline forecast tool was met by strong levels of engagement across the whole of the public sector.”
Stuart Parker, of the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, said the new tool helped the industry to better understand the direction of travel in social infrastructure, providing confidence to invest in the resources and skills needed to help the country rebuild better.
Mr Parker added: “It will help to provide visibility of opportunity to businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMEs throughout the supply chain.”
Construction has ‘key role’ in the recovery
Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise Minister Ivan McKee said: “This is a crucial time for business, trade and investment in Scotland, and we are pushing forward with an ambitious agenda of recovery and economic transformation.
“Construction will play a key part in that recovery, delivering critical infrastructure and supporting our important net-zero commitments.
“By working together and galvanising the expertise and ingenuity of the construction industry, we can enhance Scotland’s economic potential and deliver greater, greener and fairer prosperity.”
Mr McKee added: “This online tool will provide businesses with the pipeline visibility they need to plan investment in skills, labour and materials – which will support jobs and business growth.
“It also delivers new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses across the sector by providing visibility of smaller contracts.
“This is just the start of an exciting process and I encourage other public bodies to share their data to broaden their market access.”