The research was carried out by consultant Capital Economics.
It also found that the industry makes a gross value added (GVA) contribution to the UK economy of more than £4bn.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the recent addition of The British Precast Concrete Federation (BPCF) and the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), it has a membership of 450 companies and is the voice for mineral products. The mineral products industry is the largest supplier to the construction industry, which is itself reckoned to be worth £120bn a year.
Capital Economics also assessed the significance of the industry by modelling the economic impact if the UK had no domestic supply of aggregates, finding that relying on imported aggregates would have led to a loss of UK GDP of £20bn, or 1.5%, over a 15 year period.
MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: “We wanted Capital Economics to carry out an independent assessment of the economic significance of our sector and have been surprised by the results. Even taking account of the 30% loss of output during the recession the industry’s gross value added (GVA) contribution indicates the critical value of the industry to construction and many other important sectors. We are clearly an enabling sector and vital to the emerging UK industrial strategy.
“The Capital Economics analysis highlights the potential contribution we can make to economic growth and employment throughout the UK if construction activity improves in response to recently announced government measures to support housing and infrastructure development.”
Mr Jackson concluded: “It is widely recognised that construction and therefore the mineral products sector can help to boost UK economy recovery. Government has a critical role to play both through financing and enabling critical construction projects to proceed. Both roles are central to our long term growth prospects. MPA has repeatedly urged Government to minimise the cumulative tax and regulatory burden and free up the planning system to create conditions that genuinely support investment. The recent flurry of policy changes and announcements show little sign of accelerating growth and urgent focus needs to be given to delivering more action on the ground on housing, transport and energy infrastructure and the nationwide need for more repair and maintenance.”