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North-west outperforms London winning more construction contracts

The latest Economic & Construction Market Review produced by Barbour ABI has confirmed that the north-west outperformed the rest of the country, including London, being awarded 36.6% of construction contracts throughout June 2019.

The difference between the value of contracts for the north-west and London was 22.6%. London claimed second position achieving 13.7% of total constructions contracts.

The north-west’s dominance was aided by the Sellafield decommissioning scheme amounting to around £1.5bn in value awarded to the region.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI said: “We can see a steady increase in overall contract award value for the north-west from June 2018 to June 2019. London’s contract award value is less consistent and fluctuates from month to month due to seasonality. The Sellafield project has boosted activity in the north-west in June 2019, however, even removing this project, the figures still display an increase in construction activity in the region.”

Overall, £5.2bn worth of contracts were awarded across the UK in June, with 37.2% in infrastructure, 33.1% in residential, and 9% in education. This was a 5.5% increase on May.

Mr Hall from Barbour ABI added: “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.”

Building projects booming in Manchester and Liverpool

The pipeline of new construction projects is flowing well in Manchester. As of August, across central Manchester, Salford Quays and Old Trafford there are 128 developments with planning approval and 117 sites are under construction in the same area.

Building development in Liverpool is also thriving, with £1bn Paddington Village receiving approval for a 17-storey hotel and 1,245 space car park, and Peel putting forward plans for 70,000 sq ft of office space that comes under the larger £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.

Ed Howe from UrbInfo said: “The ongoing construction boom in Manchester has contributed to the region’s boost. In 2019, 30 sites have started construction in Manchester.

“We’ve also had a further 28 schemes granted planning approval this year, which is usually the stage in which developers start seeking construction projects.”

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