QPANI welcomes additional capital spending
Featured in28 June 2012 - 16:26
Roads industry and construction materials suppliers warmly welcome NI Executive’s funding boost
QUARRY Products Association Northern Ireland (QPANI), the body representing road surfacing contractors and construction material suppliers in Northern Ireland, has warmly welcomed the Executive’s decision to allocate significant additional capital spending of more than £30 million to roads and hospitals, plus additional resource spending for schools maintenance and public realm contracts.
Gordon Best, regional director of QPANI, praised the Executive Ministers not only for making the decision to find the additional money, but then for allocating it to areas and projects that will have the biggest economic ripple effect and maximize the protection and creation of jobs.
However, while welcoming the announcement, Mr Best said the additional funding of £27.8 million for roads maintenance, including £20 million for resurfacing of rural roads, only amounted to a total of £70 million for this financial year (2012/13), some £50 million short of what independent reports and Roads Service’s own structural maintenance funding plan say is required to maintain the structural integrity of the road network in its current condition.
‘We must continue to work in partnership with everyone to ensure that additional funding is found later in the year to reach the levels required if we are not to incur additional reconstruction costs in the future,’ commented Mr Best. ‘One thing is certain though, this is a significant good news story today, and I speak for those skilled employees within our sector who were expecting letters notifying them of redundancy had no additional funding been forthcoming.’
He added: ‘It is clear that by working with Ministers in the Executive, we can achieve results like today. A huge number of businesses, right across the construction and road haulage sector, will benefit from this decision. We believe that up to 500 jobs will be protected by this additional funding and we hope it may result in some of the 300-plus jobs already lost in the sector this year being re-employed.’
QPANI says it will now be working with its partners in Roads Service to insure that the additional funding translates very quickly into real work on the ground.