A GROUP set up to help save the construction industry in Scotland has written to the Scottish Government urging the adoption of a five-point plan to help contractors through the coronavirus crisis.

The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum, comprising 23 trade and professional bodies, as well as scores of companies and individuals, has written to Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning.

They are urging the agreement by public sector procurers on all project costs at March 31, including resolution of disputes, and payment within 14 days and for procurers to consider the release of all, or part of retentions, measures aimed at releasing cash to the industry and supply chain.

To improve cashflow they want to see the introduction of a 14-day payment period when building work restarts; Project Bank Accounts (PBAs) introduced along with the lowering of the PBA threshold on public sector procurement to £250,000.

The forum said the urgency of their appeal was highlighted by the fate of Central Building Contractors (Glasgow), which went into administration at the end of April with148 redundancies, sending shivers down the sector’s spine.

Their plea to the Minister also followed a survey that showed cash flow had completely dried up for nearly 80% of firms in the construction sector in Scotland.

Len Bunton, head of the CICV Forum clients sub-group, said: “Even before the sudden shutdown of the construction industry in Scotland, the sector was experiencing extreme difficulties in relation to cash flow and payment.

“Urgent attention to payment cash flow and fairness is now needed by the public and private sector in Scotland.”