Robert Grigg, Managing Director of Property Finance at Hampshire Trust Bank, calls for more support for SME housebuilders in 2018.
Reducing red tape
“SME housebuilders are missing out on opportunities due to the endless red tape that binds the existing planning process and this is having a significant impact on their business development plans. According to our SME Growth Watch report, 24% of SMEs in the construction sector said that regulation was a key barrier to growth. We urgently need the Government to deliver on its pledge to reduce red tape and streamline the planning process for SME housebuilders, enabling them to build more much-needed homes.”
Boosting the Northern Powerhouse
“We support the proposed investment in infrastructure in the Northern Powerhouse. This will have a positive impact on SME housebuilders, enabling them to build homes with better links to the rest of country and opening up development opportunities. At the bank we see a significant opportunity to boost housebuilding activity in the North of the country and as a result are planning to open an office in Leeds in 2018.”
Building SME confidence
“Our SME Growth Watch Report found economic uncertainty is the top barrier to growth for SMEs operating in the construction sector and 45% admitted Brexit has decreased their business growth expectations. The housebuilding industry needs to be carefully considered in Brexit negotiations, as it is a key barometer of the health of the UK economy and SME housebuilders are key in solving the housing crisis.”