Protests against Donald Trump have begun across Scotland ahead of his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.
Building Confidence 'At New High'
Confidence within the Scottish construction industry has reached a record high, according to a new study.
The last Scottish Construction Monitor recorded confidence levels in the sector at plus 29, up three points on the rating recorded at the end of 2014.
The positive rating recorded by the Q1 2015 Construction Monitor means that industry confidence has now been rated positive for seven consecutive quarters since the second quarter of 2013.
The monitor is a quarterly survey of the membership of independent construction trade body the Scottish Building Federation (SBF).
It is published just a week before new regulations which will impose significant new health and safety responsibilities on domestic building projects come into force.
The report also examined the impact the 2015 Construction (Design and Management) regulations (CDM 2015) will have on the sector.
Nine in ten (94%) of those who responded to the survey were either fully or partially aware of the new regulations and two thirds said they felt either fully or somewhat prepared for them.
Almost two thirds of respondents said they thought the new regulations would create additional costs, while almost one third thought they would make health and safety compliance more complicated.
Scottish Building Federation managing director Vaughan Hart said: "It's good to see confidence within the Scottish construction industry up once again for the first three months of 2015.
"We continue to monitor the industry's performance carefully since certain sectors of the industry still offer significant scope for improvement over the coming months. In order to be sustainable, it's important that the industry's recovery is suitably balanced across all sectors.
"Ordinary consumers are probably largely unaware of the impending entry into force of the CDM 2015 regulations. But they will have important implications for the responsible management of health and safety on domestic projects.
"That being the case, it's more important than ever that customers choose a reputable, properly qualified contractor to carry out building works on their home.''
The study found that almost six in ten (59%) respondents thought the impact of the new regulations on their business would be minor while 6% said they thought it would have no impact at all.
One in ten (11%) said they thought the new regulations will have a significant impact on their business, while a further 24% were unsure as to what the impact will be.
Mr Hart said: "As a trade federation, we have been working hard with our members to ensure they fully understand their responsibilities under the new regulations.
"For complete peace of mind, consumers should seek out a contractor who is affiliated to a properly recognised organisation such as SBF and can therefore provide reassurance that any works will be completed in full compliance with the new regulations.''
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