Confidence in Scottish builders at record high

A survey of Scotland’s construction industry has found confidence has reached a new record high.

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The latest Scottish Construction Monitor, the quarterly survey from the Scottish Building Federation (SBF), has found that confidence reached a score of +29. This is an increase of three points on the “record” rating recorded at the end of 2014.

This is now the seventh consecutive quarter where industry confidence has had a positive rating.

The SBF report has been issued just days before new regulations for the industry come into force, imposing significant new health and safety responsibility on domestic building projects. The 2015 Construction (Design and Management) regulations (CMD 2015) are introduced on April 6.

62 Scottish construction firms completed the study, which showed that 94% of respondents were either fully or partially aware of the new regulations, and two-thirds were either fully or partially prepared for their entry into force.

Some of the main new responsibilities that contractors will have to assume on behalf of domestic clients include contribution to construction phase plans, and providing site inductions and on-site welfare facilities for their workers. The survey found that the majority of its respondents have prior experience with these activities.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed felt the new regulations would create additional costs, while one-third said they will make it more complicated to comply with health and safety regulations.

However 60% thought the impact to their business would be minor, while 11% predicted it will be significant.

Commenting on the results, Scottish Building Federation Managing Director Vaughan Hart, said: “It’s good to see confidence within the Scottish construction industry up once again for the first three months of 2015.

“We continue to monitor the industry’s performance carefully since certain sectors of the industry still offer significant scope for improvement over the coming months.

“In order to be sustainable, it’s important that the industry’s recovery is suitably balanced across all sectors.”

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