Insight #7: Economy
Concrete is essential to UK prosperity
CONCRETE IS 12KM
Concrete is different to other building materials because every single one of its constituent materials is found in the UK. Using locally produced materials reduces demand for imports, ensuring security of supply, and contributes to the UK’s economic sustainability.
Concrete is of fundamental importance to construction, a sector that makes up 6.1% of GDP. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was £99.3bn of new construction work in Great Britain during 2016. The Confederation of British Industry has estimated that for every £1 spent in construction, at least 90% stays in the UK.
The manufacture of concrete’s constituent materials, such as cement and aggregates, as well the production of concrete products, such as ready-mixed concrete, precast concrete, blocks and mortar, represents the country’s largest flow of materials and one of its largest manufacturing sectors.
The Mineral Products Association estimates that the mineral products industry contributed £18bn to the UK’s GDP in 2016 and directly employed 74,000 people, as well as supporting a further 3.5m jobs. Concrete is used in many ways on many types of project, from foundations to structures to roof tiles, and in roads, bridges, tunnels and runways.
Without a secure supply of high-quality concrete, it would not be possible to deliver essential infrastructure such as high-speed rail or to upgrade our Victorian sewerage network. The UK’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline for 2017 projects £600bn of public and private investment over the next 10 years. If delivered, this will require significant volumes of concrete.
Concrete is a good economic choice as a building material too. It is durable, robust and long-lasting, continuing to perform for many years with little or no maintenance.