Support for the construction industry

Support and initiatives set up for the construction industry during COVID-19

Funding and support

18 May 2020: The Scottish Government has launched a £100 million emergency loan fund supporting small and medium-sized housebuilders with liquidity issues due to the temporary closure of the housebuilding sector as a result of COVID-19 (18 May 2020).

There are multiple funds available from the Scottish and UK Governments that have been launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

View all funds 

i-Con: COVID-19 support for the construction industry

The i-Con offers an Innovation Challenge Fund, a Knowledge Hub and an Online Learning Platform.

This is designed to match those faced with current challenges, with those in industry and academia who can offer rapid, impact-focused solutions in a bid to build resilience through innovation.

CSIC is asking public and private sector organisations, trade associations and the wider construction sector, who are impacted by the current crisis, to register their challenge on the portal.

These challenges will be widely communicated in a bid to attract industry and academic experts, known as ‘Solution Providers’, to step forward with proposed solutions. This matchmaking process will help to build collaboration teams who can access support and expertise, apply to the fund for financial support and co-create solutions.

The i-Con Innovation Challenge Fund, managed by CSIC using funding from the Scottish Government through a partnership of the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and potentially other organisations, is available to the sector through an online collaboration portal.

Access the i-Con toolkit

COVID-19 construction sector guidance issued by Scottish Government 

The Scottish Government issued guidance on 06 April 2020 stating that work on construction projects should stop unless it's supporting crucial work during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Advice from the Chief Medical Officer is that all non-essential business premises, sites and attractions should close unless and until we can all be clear how operations can be undertaken safely and in a way that is fully compliant with social distancing.

As such all business premises, sites and attractions to close now unless:

  • essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis (as defined below); or
  • supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
  • wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate for a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed; and
  • apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice
    Critical National Infrastructure
    Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sectors define those facilities, systems, sites and networks necessary for the functioning of the country and the delivery of the essential services upon which daily life in Scotland depends.

Essential services are the fundamental services that underpin daily life and ensure the country continues to function.

There are 13 designated CNI sectors:

  • energy
  • communications – Telecommunications, Public Broadcast, Postal Services, Internet;
  • government
  • transport
  • finance
  • civil nuclear
  • defence
  • chemicals
  • space
  • health
  • food
  • water and waste
  • emergency services

Even where businesses are in the CNI category and judge themselves to be exempt from closure of business premises, it is imperative that they keep open only those premises or parts of premises that are truly critical or essential to the national COVID-19 effort. For example, related logistics or administrative staff should work from home wherever possible, and non-essential staff must work from home.

The full guidance is available on the Scottish Government's website.