Jersey 'needs to build more to help construction industry'

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Jersey's government needs to continue spending on building projects to help the construction industry, the States' former chief architect says.

The States allocated £44m from its Fiscal Stimulus Fund in 2009 to use on capital projects over three years.

Graeme Hutchison said such investment needed to continue as the construction industry "contributes massively" to the local economy.

The States is due to debate capital spending in October.

'Best time'

Mr Hutchison, who oversaw the island's new library and the refurbishment of the States, said: "It [the industry] employs a large proportion of people in Jersey.

"They [the States] have to recognise that it contributes massively to the economy of Jersey, as it does in the UK as well. They can't just ignore it.

"And the best time to build is in a recession if you have the money because of good prices.

"A government that isn't strapped for cash should be investing."

States treasurer Laura Rowley said that, although the £44m from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund had now been spent, the Durrell Wildlife visitors' centre and the local hospice had benefitted.

"It was most definitely worth the money put into it," she said.

Future capital project spending is set out in the States' Medium Term Financial Plan.

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