Although the number of new housing projects getting underway in 2012 dropped by a tenth, the construction sector has received vehement assurance from the Chancellor that the Government is extremely committed to encouraging construction.

Speaking at an event in Birmingham to mark the launch of the city’s enterprise zone, George Osborne told a crowd of gathered industry professionals and media representatives that construction is “vital to a country like Britain”, to ensure that it remains competitive on the global stage.

He explained that being an internationally competitive country will ensure that the UK can encourage big global businesses to base themselves here and, in turn, aid the national construction economy through the building of their new bases.

“We need to compete in the global race, and there are businesses around the world that can choose either to base themselves here in Birmingham and the West Midlands or in Shanghai or Bangalore,” Osborne explained to industry publication, Construction News. “These are the decisions big companies are making. I think economic infrastructure is really vital to a country like Britain and to a city like Birmingham.”

At the forefront of his plans for the encouragement of future construction projects, is the fostering of major, infrastructural and transport projects, such as the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project. Projects like HS2 can demonstrate that the UK is one of the nations on earth that is living on the very edge of technological development and is a country where business can be carried out effectively and with ease.

Osborne added, “These are all signs of the Government’s commitment to physical infrastructure and to construction. We are spending more than our predecessors planned to spend on physical infrastructure, despite the tough economic situation and the absence of lots of money to go around.”

He also told the assembled crowd that the government is looking to work in partnership with the commercial property market in order to help enhance the facilities that are available for people to work and live in, creating refurbishment and renovation jobs.

“[The commercial property market is] an absolutely crucial part - [it] provides the offices people work in, the factories that people work in and the shops people want to shop in,” the Chancellor said. “A healthy and strong property sector is absolutely at the heart of a healthy and strong economy.”