February contract awards increase by 11%

Contract awards up 11%

Construction contracts awarded in February climbed by 11% but is still below average reports industry analysts.

According to industry data Barbour ABI has seen February contract awards increased by 11% compared to January to £4.7 billion. They say this remains below average levels, but underlying activity has increased as no single project was valued over £200 million.

Similarly to January, distribution centres make up two of the top four contract awards.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from the experts at Barbour ABI, highlights levels of construction contract values awarded across Great Britain.

Sector analysis shows that residential strengthened in February to £1.9 billion with strong activity in the West Midlands. Infrastructure also picked up, rising £78% to £900 million following a disappointing January.

The largest infrastructure projects are the National Grid LNG terminal expansion in Kent and the M25 Junction 28 improvements in Essex.

The industrial sector, led by warehousing, continued as the hottest sector, with two of the top four projects being distribution centres: a distribution hub in Wakefield worth £186 million and a Lidl distribution centre in Bedfordshire with a value of £100 million.

Commenting on the figures, Tom Hall, Chief Economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said, “There was not a huge amount to see in February as planning activity was maintained; no pre-budget optimism to be seen. Contract awards strengthened slightly while planning applications and approvals weakened. Approvals particularly are looking fragile.

Elsewhere the significant activity in warehousing and distribution continued, and infrastructure contract awards returned to previous levels after a weak January.”

Download the full report here

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