Edinburgh construction firms at risk unless Government offers lockdown help

Businesses appeal for financial support

Friday, 24th April 2020, 7:30 am
Dawn Read says her business will come through the crisis but some others will not
Dawn Read says her business will come through the crisis but some others will not

SOME construction firms will be forced out of business unless the government offers financial support, industry leaders have warned.

Dawn Read, a director of Capital-based contractors Hutton and Read and local president of the Scottish Building Association, said her own company had all of its 30 employees on furlough. “All our sites are closed and our cash flow has stopped, but we still have bills to pay,” she said.

“While other sectors are being supported, there’s no support there for construction as yet.

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“Our company will get through it, though it will be difficult, but there are other companies in the area who are not going to make it.”

And she said firms being forced to close would mean lost jobs, delayed projects and cost increases.

Ms Read said it had been suggested construction could be one of the first sectors to return to work when the lockdown is eased, but even then it would be seven or eight weeks before firms would be paid.

“We will have to work four weeks before we can submit a claim for money, that has to be certified and the client has two weeks to pay. A company will go back one month and get paid at the end of the next month, more or less, so cash flow is a nightmare.

But she said a scheme offering financial support could save firms who were struggling.

“The construction industry is buoyant – you only have to walk around Edinburgh at the moment, there’s lots of work about, which is great.

“It has taken a long time to come back to that from the recession. But some companies could fail just because of no support from the government.”