Laura Sharman 30 June 2020

Construction spend must deliver social value, argues report

Construction spend must deliver more ‘tangible social impact’ to support disadvantaged communities post-Covid, according to a new report.

Published by the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the report warns there is a ‘high risk of social value becoming too diffuse and lacking focus’.

From the Ground Up – Improving the Delivery of Social Value in Construction calls for an immediate step change in procurement, delivery and monitoring impact.

Bev Hurley, chair of the IED, said: ‘Social value is playing an increasing part in the procurement process, but we found that there are significant challenges across all aspects.

’There are huge opportunities and requirements for the public sector, industry and government to step up to the plate, to make sure that every one of those construction pounds delivers additional tangible social impact, and makes a major contribution to our most disadvantaged citizens and left-behind communities as we plan our post Covid-19 strategy.’

The study, co-authored by Arup and Atkins, makes five key recommendations including establishing a Construction Social Value Centre of Excellence and agreeing a definition of social value.

Ms Hurley puts forward five recommendations to ensure construction can deliver more value to support left-behind communities.

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