Builders Welcome 100m Fund To Finance Small Firms
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Builders Welcome 100m Fund To Finance Small Firms

posted in News by Skippy on 12:19 Aug 18th, 2015

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Leaders from the housing industry have welcomed a new £100 million initiative which has been created to support small sized construction companies who are finding it increasingly difficult to access finance.

New Fund To Help Small Construction Companies

The scheme is called the Housing Growth Partnership and is backed by Lloyds Banking Group, which is investing £50 million into the fund. It is hoped within the industry that the launch of the initiative will lead to the creation of 2,000 new homes, as well as help builders to recruit and train workers.

Karen Campbell, director of policy at trade body Homes for Scotland, explained that the scheme will be supported by the UK government. She believes it marks a positive step for firms which have been “adversely affected by limited access to development finance”.

“Whilst this UK-wide initiative goes some way to addressing what is a key constraint for smaller developers, this is just part of the challenge.

“In this respect, we are working alongside the Scottish Government on a joint approach to unlocking small developments, with funding issues being considered alongside the challenges posed by land availability, the planning system, infrastructure delivery and opportunities for regeneration.

The lack of new homes available has been an issue all over the UK, with London and the south among the worst affected. In Scotland the government has set targets for the amount of new homes to be built over the last couple of years, however the 35,000 goal has remained a dream after just 15,541 homes were built in 2014, 40% below the levels seen a decade earlier.

The Westminster government has announced it will match the £50 million being invested by Lloyds to support construction schemes. The partnership expects to put up to £5m into around 50 projects, with the ultimate goal of building an extra 2,000 homes. It will also help build a network of experienced builders and developers to offer advice and guidance to smaller construction companies.

Federation of Master Builders boss Brian Berry said: “There has been a sharp decline in the numbers and output of SME housebuilders over the past eight years. One of the biggest obstacles these firms have faced is a severe difficulty in accessing finance. Without adequate access to finance they cannot bring forward the number of new homes they would otherwise.

“The new Housing Growth Partnership will directly help to address this issue and the additional £50m greatly increases the scale of what can be achieved. We commend Lloyds Banking Group and the government on their trailblazing approach and we hope this marks a real turning point in the fight to provide adequate finance to the SME housebuilding sector.”

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