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Insights

09 November 2020

Construction and Development in the COVID-19 Era: Lessons Learned and How to Use them

Our recent webinar: “Construction and Development in the COVID-19 Era: Lessons Learned and How to Use them”, hosted with Bisnow and moderated by Construction partner David Savage, focused on how challenges can become opportunities in this uncertain period, particularly relevant as England has now entered another national lockdown. In the course of that webinar, we polled our audience on their view of the UK Government’s support to the construction sector, the performance of construction leadership organisations, and the likely impact on the sector of the second national lockdown. Headlines from that polling include:

  • The overwhelming majority of our audience, 67%, feel the UK Government is providing impressive or good levels of support to the construction sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with only 7% of participants’ opinion being that the Government has provided an inadequate level of support to the sector.
  • Nearly 70% of our audience view the performance of construction industry leadership during the COVID-19 era as generally impressive, with useful initiatives like the Site Operating Procedures and good proactive communications, with much of the remainder feeling that the performance has been adequate to date but could have been improved in both support and communication.
  • 59% of our audience think the second national lockdown, which came into effect on Thursday, will only have a modest level of negative impact on the UK construction sector, given that construction activity can continue. However, a material 41% were concerned that the second national lockdown would cause a significant level of negative impact, given the further harm to the economy, business confidence, and impacts on national and international supply chains. It is encouraging to note that none of the respondents believed there would be a very damaging impact to the UK construction sector from this second national lockdown.

Please see the full results below and click here to view the webinar. If you have any concerns or questions around current or future construction projects, please don’t hesitate to contact either David Savage, or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys contact.


Poll 1:

How do you view the UK Government’s response to the Covid-19 crises as it relates to support to the construction sector in particular: 

  1. Very impressive and front footed from the start and to date. 6%
  2. Welcome levels of support, and appropriate ratcheting up of Government activity as a major construction sector client. 61%    
  3. Adequate levels of support, but needs to do materially more as a major construction sector client in its own right. 26%
  4. Woefully inadequate from the start and to date. 7%

Poll 2: 

How do you view the performance of construction industry leadership organisations during the Covid-19 era to date: 

  1. Very impressive and front footed from the start and to date. 0%
  2. Generally impressive, with useful initiatives like the Site Operating Procedures and good proactive communications. 69%
  3. Adequate, but could have done more in support and communication terms. 26%
  4. Woefully inadequate from the start and to date. 5%

Poll 3:

What level of negative impact do you think the imminent second national lockdown will have on the UK construction sector: 

  1. None. 3%
  2. A modest level of negative impact, given that construction activity can continue in the lockdown. 56%
  3. A significant level of negative impact, given the further harm to the economy, business confidence, and impacts on national and international supply chains. 41%
  4. A very damaging level of negative impact, given the potentially catastrophic further damage to the UK economy and loss of business confidence. 0%
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