Election24: What the manifestos really mean for construction


The two major political parties launched their 2024 manifestos last week – but how do they plan to tackle the issues that matter most to the construction industry?

Shreyas Sane (Unsplash).

In the run up to the general election on 4 July, both parties have made commitments to housing, energy, creating new jobs as well as investing in and delivering infrastructure.


The Conservative party published their manifesto on 11 June, here are the main takeaways:


They made several pledges to invest in new and ongoing infrastructure including reallocating £36 billion of HS2 savings to transport projects in the North and Midlands.

Railways: The Conservatives have promised upgrades to railways in the southwest, electrifying the North West Main Line, and pledging £1.75 billion to fund connectivity in the Midlands.

They have also promised to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030, continuing to rebuild more than 500 schools through the School Rebuilding Programme, and build four new prisons by the same date.

Their manifesto also includes a “record £8.3 billion investment” into filling potholes and resurfacing roads.


Both parties have committed to increase house building in the next Parliament, with the Conservatives pledging to deliver 1.6 million homes in England.

In order to do so, they have made several commitments:

  • Abolishing the legacy EU ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules to immediately unlock 100,000 new homes with local consent, with developers required by law to pay a one-off mitigation fee so there is no net additional pollution.
  • Building “a record number” of new homes each year on brownfield land in urban areas. 
  • Unlocking new urban regeneration schemes, by creating locally-led urban development corporations in partnership with the private sector and institutional investors. 
  • Supporting local and smaller builders by requiring councils to set land aside for them and lifting Section 106 burdens on smaller sites, and ruling out Labour’s proposed ‘community right to appeal’.


Firms could see a boost to recruitment as the Conservatives have pledged to fund 100,000 high-quality apprenticeships for young people, by slimming down “poor-quality university degrees”.

They have further committed to revamping education by reforming the Advanced British Standard for 16-19-year-olds, providing “broader education and removing the artificial divide between academic and technical learning”.


Their manifesto has also made energy commitments, scaling up their nuclear power, building on Great British Nuclear, with the aim of creating well-paid, high-skilled jobs and delivering cheaper, cleaner and more secure energy.


Labour released their 132-page manifesto on 13 June:


Labour has challenged the Conservative’s current plan for economic growth, promising to create new roads, railways, reservoirs, and other national infrastructure.

The party has set out a 10-year infrastructure strategy, with a focus on improving rail connectivity across the north of England.

They have promised to create a new National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority, to set strategic infrastructure priorities and oversee the design, scope, and delivery of projects.

Transport: Labour have promised to overhaul Britain’s railways, as well as maintaining and renewing Britain’s road network by promising to fix an additional one million potholes across England in each year in the next Parliament.


Labour promised to establish a National Wealth Fund as a commitment to new development and infrastructure:

  • £1.8 billion to upgrade ports and build supply chains across the UK. 
  • £1.5 billion for new gigafactories so our automotive industry leads the world.
  • £2.5 billion to rebuild our steel industry. 
  • £1 billion to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture.
  • £500 million to support the manufacturing of green hydrogen.


Labour promised that their commitment to planning reform will see them build 1.5 million new homes in the next Parliament.

As with the Conservatives, Labour promised to prioritise urban brownfield sites, building on previously used land “wherever possible”.

They have further pledged to reform compulsory purchase compensation rules to improve land assembly as well as speed up site delivery, and deliver housing, infrastructure, amenity, and transport benefits “in the public interest”. 

Moreover, they have promised the “biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding in a generation”.

One way they promised to ensure that is by making amendments to the Affordable Homes Programme; supporting councils and housing associations to build their capacity and make a greater contribution to affordable housing supply.


Labour has promised to establish a youth guarantee of access to training, apprenticeships, or support to find work for all 18– 21-year-olds as well as ending reliance on overseas workers by bringing in workforce and training plans for sectors including construction.


Labour has put forward their plan to increase green energy in the UK by creating a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy.

The party has pledged £8.3 billion to Great British Energy over the next parliament.

They claimed Great British Energy will partner with industry and trade unions to deliver clean power by co-investing in leading technologies as well as helping to support capital-intensive projects and deploying local energy production to benefit communities across the country.

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