SCOTLAND’S property and construction sector faces uncertainty over Brexit and a second Scottish independence referendum, according to a professional services firm.
Grant Thornton, which has offices across the UK, has called for greater consultation from political leaders over fears businesses in the sector could lose contracts and international funding for future projects.
The construction industry raised more than £6.6 billion for the Scottish economy in 2014, employing hundreds of thousands of people in traditional trades, as civil engineers or house builders.
The sector suffered heavy losses in the global downturn of 2009 but has since regained lost ground, because of an increase in major public infrastructure projects and the resilience of the sector.
Construction experts say there are fears political deadlock combined with nervousness from overseas investors could create another crisis for firms reliant on long-term security and consumer confidence.
James Andersen, property and construction specialist at Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “For some time now, Grant Thornton has been warning that the property and construction sector needs as much support as possible if it’s to continue growing sustainably.
“To some extent it’s been a victim of its own success after such a concerted effort to regain lost ground following the global economic downturn in 2009.
“The recent business rates changes, combined with a raft of sweeping tax reforms and the ongoing skills shortage, has created a toxic mix and quite simply there is now no room for complacency.
“Scotland’s property and construction sector contributes billions to the economy and plays a vital role in skilled employment.
“Public and private sector leaders need to start a dialogue immediately and explore how greater collaboration and a joined-up strategy focused on growth can enable the industry to thrive in the medium to long-term.”
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