This new report, a collaboration between Barbour ABI and CPA, seeks to analyse construction contract awards at a high level of regional granularity, firstly to identify pockets of growth or contraction – hotspots and coldspots – in regional activity and secondly, to offer a forward-looking indication of growth by region and by sector.
The report identifies London remains the UK’s largest regional economy and construction gross value added (GVA) in 2019 (the latest available from the ONS) was £22.6 billion, accounting for 18.5% of the UK construction total. With a construction GVA of £19.4 billion, the South East accounts for a similar proportion of UK construction (15.7%).
Given the relative size of the London and South East economies, populations and concentration of the services-based industry, it is easy to think that the majority of construction work is taking place in these regions. By using ONS regional economic data, it becomes clear that despite its overall dominance, there were only three London sub-regions in the top ten largest local authority areas for construction activity in 2019: Camden and City of London, Harrow and Hillingdon, and Westminster. Similarly, two sub-regions in the South East feature in this ranking. However, it is Hertfordshire, in the East of England, that remains as the sub-region with the largest value of construction activity in 2019. The South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the East of England complete the top ten list, underscoring the fact that there are large areas of activity beyond the traditional engines of growth.
The full report can be downloaded by FIS Members here.
The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that there were 454 contracts worth £4.7 billion awarded in August. Whilst this was lower than the previous month as the industry had its traditional and well‐deserved summer break, both the number and value of contracts awarded this August were higher than August 2020, indicating that construction’s recovery is holding steady. 41% of all the contracts awarded by value were housing (£1.9 billion), 16% were office projects (£754 million) and 9% were education projects (£407 million).
The number of tender opportunities was 22% down on July and remained 40% below the monthly average for the past year.