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Renewed hope for UK construction industry

7th August 2020

Matt Sanders

New figures have helped lift spirits within the struggling construction industry.

According to data for June from industry analyst Barbour ABI, the number of construction contracts that were awarded in the UK increased by 81%.

Throughout the month, a total of 477 construction contracts were signed – a figure that equates to around £2.2 billion of new business, looking at data over three months.

Many in the industry hope that this signals a recovery from the crippling impact of Covid-19 – albeit a slow one. The estimated value of new projects is a drop of 9.2% from the previous month, and a decrease of 57.3% compared to June 2019. 

However, a growth in numbers is being taken by many as a positive sign. It’s hoped that as the UK sees more lockdown restrictions being lifted, that growth will continue.

The data comes from the Barbour ABI’s Economic & Construction Market Review, which reveals the majority of the contracts awarded (39%) were for residential projects. However, the largest single contract was found in the infrastructure sector; the refurbishment of Gatwick Airport’s train station is valued at around £150 million.

In terms of the geographical distribution of contracts, London takes the lead, with 26.1% of the total. The capital is followed by the South East (16.4%) and the North West (13.6%). While Wales had the lowest number – just 1.4%

These figures are in line with the government’s commitment to using construction to help rebuild the UK’s economy. A statement from Downing Street in June detailed a £5 billion package of capital investment in infrastructure projects, including schools, hospitals, roads and rail.

Speaking about the situation, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research, said: “The UK economy plateaued in May as the easing of some lockdown restrictions mid-way through the month failed to significantly increase output.

“June’s figures […] will give a better understanding of how quickly lost output can be regained as larger parts of the economy resumed activity.”

At Paragon Structures we’re confident growth in the construction industry will continue. As a company, we’re dedicated to delivering modern, environmentally-friendly buildings at a more affordable cost than conventional construction methods. Our reliable, tension fabric buildings can be built quickly and adapted to any industry. To find out more, check out some of our recent projects or get in touch with the team.

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