In a recent survey, 50% of Scottish infrastructure firms reported increases to their workload.¹ From making transport more environmentally friendly to creating sustainable energy systems, there is an enormous push to improve the country’s infrastructure.
Welfare Hire is launching a new depot in Scotland’s central belt, to take our service in providing mobile welfare units and lighting towers to the next level for these vital projects. But how will our equipment help these projects? And why is there such a large increase in demand?
WHY SCOTTISH INFRASTRUCTURE MATTERS
Better infrastructure will be at the heart of a more positive future for Scotland. From the £1.2 billion allocated to enhancing the country’s railways² to £1.5 billion for bridge and road maintenance³, these projects will help Scotland achieve net zero, promote more sustainable living and create inclusive economic growth.
In February 2021, the Scottish Government published its Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP), committing to infrastructure projects cumulatively worth over £26 billion.⁴ Despite reported challenges such as supply chain issues, labour shortages and fears of budget changes,⁵ there are still great opportunities offered from the huge scope and ambition of the Plan.
This could just be the start
In October of this year, the Scottish Government laid out its plans for an independent Scotland. This included the Building a Better Scotland fund, which would see £20 billion invested in improving Scotland’s infrastructure over the first decade of Scottish independence.
While this is by no means inevitable, it once again makes clear how large – and important – future investments in Scottish infrastructure projects are likely to be.
How Welfare Hire Supports Scottish Infrastructure
Welfare Hire has supported Scottish infrastructure projects for several years, partnering with regional and national infrastructure frameworks and contractors.
With a continued growing need for specialist equipment in the market, the next phase of our investment establishes a depot in Scotland’s central belt with a dedicated team to support projects in the country.
The depot will house stock of the mobile ECO welfare units and lighting towers we supply to sectors like rail, highways, utilities and construction. This will enable us to support Scottish infrastructure projects in three key ways:
1. Reduced environmental impact
A central motivation for infrastructure spending is to make Scotland greener; the £120m pledged for greener rail is but a single example.⁶ However, net zero targets draw attention to the entire supply chain – and that includes the actual construction and maintenance work involved in creating all this green infrastructure.
Welfare Hire’s mobile welfare units and lighting towers utilise hybrid power and Smart Water systems that unlock huge reductions in onsite fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
2. Support overworked staff
While infrastructure firms plan hard to deliver the projects they commit to, 55% also say they are struggling with labour shortages.⁷ This makes life extremely tough for the workers they do have, and could lead to decreased morale, exhaustion and even mental health struggles.
Welfare Hire’s mobile welfare units are designed to tackle these problems, providing a larger, more comfortable space for workers to rest during downtime. The effect both on workers’ productivity and health can be dramatic – exactly what projects struggling with a shortage of staff need to help keep their site operatives happy and attract new hires.
3. Make sourcing equipment easier
Delays have plagued many large Scottish infrastructure projects since February 2021, even before COVID-19, with almost 50% of projects experiencing such issues.⁸ This emphasises the vital importance of reliable service and support from supply partners.
Welfare Hire’s new depot will deliver the most comprehensive support possible, ensuring projects can always access the mobile welfare units and lighting towers they need – exactly when they need them – from a specialist partner.
6.https://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/articles/scottish-rail-see-ps120m-investment-create-greener-sector 7.https://news.stv.tv/scotland/labour-shortages-challenge-scottish-construction-firms-as-workload-grows-across-the-sector 8.https://www.itv.com/news/2019-04-23/almost-half-of-all-major-infrastructure-projects-in-scotland-delayed