The construction sector in Scotland could be set for a timely boost, if one council manages to make its plans for a hike in spending a reality over the coming months. Highland Council has unveiled a scheme that would see it increase spending on building projects by almost £1 billion over the next ten years. It has set out its idea in a report that is due to be presented to the full council over the coming days and includes details of a £470 million investment over the next five years, before a second five-year strategy worth a similar amount. As well as committing to a 16 per cent increase in comparison with recent years, the plan would be designed to generate new employment opportunities. Indeed, it is said that as many as 500 construction jobs could be created on the back of the extra spending. Drew Hendry, leader of the council, said: "We estimate that our spending in the firm first five-year programme will create up to 500 new jobs in the construction industry and many of these will be young workers through our recently announced shared apprenticeship scheme. "Over the second five-year programme we would aim to maintain the momentum of spending. This is really very exciting news for the Highlands. It has the potential to transform our economy." Councillor Hendry went on to note that the local authority is keen to prioritise the creation of jobs, as this is the best way to ensure economic growth in the Highlands region. He said this can be delivered by the implementation of a ten-year capital programme that leaders are keen to introduce in the near future. Should extra funds be made available to the council, it will be ready to get to work on construction schemes at short notice. A variety of schemes and developments around the region have already been earmarked and could be made a reality with the help of funds and building expertise.
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