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UK construction activity moves beyond the capital

The North West was the leading region for contract awards in June, with a 36.6% value share

Posted by Julian Owen | August 14, 2019 | People, policy, politics, money

The value of all construction contract awards in June 2019 was £5.2 billion, an increase of 5.5% on May. The figures are based on a three-month rolling average. Regional analysis shows that the North West was the leading region for the month’s contract awards, with a 36.6% value share.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review, from industry analysts Barbour ABI, finds that the value of June’s contract awards across Great Britain saw an increase of 5.5% on the previous month. The infrastructure sector accounted for 37.2% of the total, thanks to the Sellafield product and residues store construction programme - valued at £1.5 billion - which also boosted the North West’s project share.

London dominated in only two of the eight sectors for June: residential, with a 26.2% share, and commercial and retail, with a 23.7% share of total contract awards. Construction activity moved out of the capital, with a more even spread of contract awards across the UK. The East Midlands dominated the industrial sector, for example, largely due to investment in warehousing and storage. Elsewhere, the South West took the top spot for hotel, leisure and sport, and Scotland took the lion’s share of projects in the medical and health and education sectors.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI said, “London has dominated project awards every month in 2019. However, for the first time this year, we see a shift in the spread of project awards across the country. Likewise, for the first time this year, we see infrastructure investment overtake the residential sector, which has been the most active sector of construction for over six months.”

Download the full report here.

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