Image ©Forestry Commission 

The UK Government has published its Timber Construction Policy Roadmap today which looks to boost the safe use of sustainable UK timber in construction and increase domestic wood supply.

The policy roadmap is split into priority themes which look to identify both the opportunities and barriers to timber construction in England, including improving data, promoting timber, boosting skills, and addressing fire safety.

The roadmap comes after a significant amount of work by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) to advocate for timber, including a policy report - Timber in Construction: Barriers and Solutions - as well as political site visits, and APPG engagements.

CTI members, Timber Development UK, and Structural Timber Association, feature heavily in the roadmap, having worked with government and industry partners in the Timber in Construction Working Group over the past 12 months.

“This roadmap is a cast iron commitment to increasing timber use in the UK and is a pivotal moment for our exciting, low-carbon industry," says Confederation of Timber Industries Chair, Alex Goodfellow.

“As we stated in our recent APPG report, the government must provide both effective environmental regulation and market incentives to expand timber construction in the UK.

“The roadmap provides a solid foundation in achieving this aim, setting out real intent from the government to tackle the barriers to timber construction.

“However, there are areas of the report, particularly in relation to embodied carbon, which we feel need to be bolder. It is a shame to see the government delay action on this to 2025.

“The CTI will continue to work with all political parties in the long term, to ensure these positive commitments are both actioned, and in some cases, expanded.”

Timber Development UK CEO, David Hopkins, adds: “It is great to see the government make a firm commitment to expanding low-carbon timber construction in this policy document.

“By expanding low-carbon timber construction, particularly in the housing sector, we can decarbonise our built environment whilst simultaneously building high quality, efficient buildings.

“Expanding timber construction also offers a range of economic benefits, helping regions to ‘level up’ with green jobs, and creating localised manufacturing bases across the country which add value to raw timber products.

“Though there are many positives from the roadmap, it must be viewed as a good start rather than the finished article.

“Some policy areas, particularly the carbon section, are light on commitment when it comes to tackling embodied carbon, despite its pivotal importance to net zero.

“The CTI/TDUK will continue to engage with government to ensure the commitments are actioned and expanded in the coming years.”

Structural Timber Association CEO Andrew Carpenter, said:

“We are delighted that the UK Government has recognised the critical need to safely increase the use of timber in construction and we applaud the leadership that has been shown in setting this objective.

“The TIC Roadmap will be a beneficial driver in this effort, which is so vital to meeting the UK’s net zero carbon commitments, giving clarity and guidance to stakeholders throughout the construction industry.

“It has been a pleasure to participate in such important work and we look forward to continued collaboration between Government and industry as we move to the next stage of implementation.”