Why it’s time to rethink the way we do finance in construction


The Construction industry is by far and away one of the most industrious and fertile of any other in the UK and perhaps the world. Its sheer resilience amid trying circumstances and its capacity for growth when times are high have long been among its primary qualities, and it remains in the minds of many a veritable juggernaut for driving forward the British economy. 

The years during and since the Covid-19 pandemic, however, were unprecedented and wrought upon the sector some of the direst conditions witnessed for a generation which have rightly forced many to more seriously consider the efficacy of established institutions and practices within many organisations, and what in practical terms a dynamic and adaptable construction industry for the future really means.  

Chief among those are its financial infrastructures and traditional payment methods brought sharply into focus more recently by the sobering (and increasingly alarming) reality of the rate of insolvency, even among the largest and seemingly healthiest of construction animals. With administration filings in the industry (particularly among the specialist contractors) now the highest in a decade and the highest of any other sector in the UK, the pressure to stabilise company cash flow, streamline methods of payment, re-examine legacy practices whose convenience for the one is a barrier for the other, and generate meaningful profit margins relative to group turnover, has arguably never been greater.  

The Construction industry is undoubtedly one of the hardier currently unpinning the British economy. But despite that seemingly monolithic exterior, at any one time along the chain there is often a cacophony of critical factors impacting the payment process. Constrained budgets, lengthy approval processes, contractual disputes, cost inflation, capacity issues, insolvency, and unforeseen changes and delays, can arise at once or individually and at best weaken contractual viability, and at worst the viability of those involved.  

With the issue of finance and payments in the Construction industry at the forefront in the mind of many, Construction Wave is actively creating new opportunities for leading lights in the sector and those with ‘skin in the game’ to partake in valuable knowledge-sharing events that promote honest and transparent discussions about existing methods and potential solutions, legacy policies and opportunities for reform, real-world versus theoretical applications, and the economic realities impacting contractor performance, both macro and local.  

In our latest webinar, “How fitout companies are streamlining payments in 2024”, we hosted a panel of experts from various backgrounds within the sector, to explore perennial payment challenges which are barriers to growth, the impact of these on site and in the board room, and the viable solutions available to contractors regardless of their size or locale.  

In this episode, Construction Wave editor Rory Butler talks to Payapps senior business development manager Anthony Puma, FIS CEO Iain McIlwee, formerly Ballymore fitout director Kieran McCready, and BW: Workplace Experts commercial director Kevin P’ng. 

Let’s talk about money – Construction CFO Summit

Construction Wave is also hosting its inaugural in-person event at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London on 19 February, the Construction CFO Summit. 

Expert guest speakers at the event include Carey Group CFO Martin Nilsson, Maybourne Hotel Group chief construction and design officer Alexander Dietrich, Arbuthnot Latham director of construction Paul Reidy, British Airways director of finance Nessa McNeela, and Begbies Traynor managing partner Julie Palmer, to name a few. Payapps senior business development manager Anthony Puma will also be speaking at Northumberland Avenue.  

There’s never been a more important time to discuss the issue of finance and payments in the Construction industry. If you want to be part of the conversation, please follow this link.  

The Construction Wave editorial team will be available on the day for interview and reporting opportunities. For further enquiries, please email the editor rory@wavenews.co.uk 


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