As busy building companies, FMB members are constantly striving to keep on top of a myriad of duties. As small local firms, our members, for the most part, lack the dedicated back-office administrative resources of larger construction firms. The time spent running projects, managing client expectations as well as avoiding getting tripped up by red tape, means that any helpful and important information needs to be easily accessible and readily available for SMEs. Sometimes our members overlook and then miss accessing the funding, support, and finance available to them. Other pressing issues, as outlined above, mean that they just don’t know what’s out there; unknown unknowns.

Now back in August 2020, the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum worked on a post-pandemic recovery plan for the industry. The FMB was one principal organisation that fed in suggestions on what should be included in the final plan. Our focus was on ensuring that actions in the plan supported the backbone of the construction industry: SMEs. Fast-forward to late 2021 and we were asked by Digital Construction Skills to review and edit a draft guide on the funding and business support available to the construction industry in Scotland.

The new guide has been completed and was launched in March. We know that there is a wide and variable range of funding, support, and finance packages available to construction businesses in Scotland. This includes support to help busy builders with business improvement, business growth or improving their digital capability. Having this mapped out in one document with brief explanations on eligibility and what’s provided will, I think, be very helpful for our members.

What is in the guide for Scottish construction SMEs?

The six-page document features a table summarising the support, which comes from various sources including the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. The guide also points businesses to the help they may need to go digital to drive savings and boost productivity. The landscape continues to evolve, even in the world of funding and grants, so the guide will need to be regularly updated by the authors at Digital Construction Skills.

Members will now hear directly from Digital Construction Skills at our Summer Reception on 23 June in Edinburgh. Here you can learn about the latest updates on the business support and funding available for construction firms in Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the new guide. I look forward to catching up with members then, in the meantime, I trust that the new guide is helpful.

Authors

Gordon Nelson

Gordon Nelson

FMB Scotland Hub Director, Federation of Master Builders

Gordon has nearly twenty years’ experience of working in membership organisations in Scotland and joined the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in 2014. Prior to this, he worked at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and Unilever. As Director for FMB Scotland his responsibilities are public affairs, media relations, governance and representing member’s interests to Scottish policy makers and stakeholders. Gordon is the Secretary of the Cross-Party Group on Construction in the Scottish Parliament, a member of the Scottish Building Standards Futures Board and represents the FMB on Scotland’s Construction Industry Collective Voice. Gordon is actively involved with Site Safe Scotland, the principal committee for construction health and safety in Scotland.