16/09/2009

Minister Backs Construction's Future

Around £1m a day is being used to help 'build' business for the ailing NI construction industry.

That's according to Finance Minister Sammy Wilson who said that the Stormont Executive has committed record levels of capital investment in recent years.

During a visit to John Graham Holdings Ltd - a leading building firm - he claimed that, in 2008-2009, the Executive increased spending to £1,700million.

"This equates to almost £1million in additional funding every day," he insisted, noting that this "unprecedented level of expenditure has helped the construction industry through what have been very difficult times".

"I would highlight the benefit to firms of investing in their own futures, as Grahams has done, to ensure they are best placed to avail of all forthcoming opportunities when the upturn in the economy arrives," he said.

The Minister was touring the Co Down company's new headquarters at Hillsborough and commended the firm for its vision.

"Despite the current economic challenges, it is encouraging to see a major local firm looking ahead and planning for the future.

"The Graham Group is one of Northern Ireland's largest building firms, successfully securing major public construction projects not only in Northern Ireland, but also in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

"Through the use of framework agreements, public private partnerships and traditional contractual arrangements, the Graham Group has won contracts for civil engineering and building works in water and roads infrastructure, education, health and leisure sectors," he commented.

The Minister was hosted by Michael Graham, Executive Chairman of John Graham Holdings and taken on a tour of the site.

(BMcC/KMcA)


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