According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the funding for research and development in the UK construction industry increased to a record high of £351 million in 2018. This figure represents an increase in spending of 9.7% from 2017. The tax relief firm Catax who specialises in research and development (R&D) indicated that this increase in spending was a result of high levels of investment in the modern methods of construction (MMCs).
Whilst the construction industry is a significant employer in the UK, it actually contributes a relatively small amount of R&D spending in the country compared to other industries. Over recent years, there have been some interesting changes in the construction industry, including the rapid growth of offsite construction methods, which is expected to be a contributing factor leading to the jump in overall R&D spending in 2018.
Behind the backdrop of Brexit, the country is engaged in keeping our construction industry at the cutting edge of technology to ensure that our prospects outside of the EU remain strong.
Across the whole country, the investment from all UK businesses in R&D has grown since 2017. The overall spend has risen to £25 billion in 2018, which represents an increase of £1.4 billion.
The government has also pledged to set up an MMC working group in September 2018 to investigate assurance, insurance and mortgages for MMCs for the whole of the residential sector. This should help to ensure that the investment in R&D is spent in ways that will benefit the industry as a whole.