Construction activivity dips slightly


The latest information from Builders’ Conference shows that both the number and value of contracts awarded in April have decreased for the first time this year.

Industry experts at Build UK are hoping that this was just a blip in the road due to the Easter break and that the continued easing of coronavirus restrictions over the coming weeks will drive the economic recovery and see construction activity increase again.

According to data from Builders’ Conference, the number of contracts awarded in April was 548, a 12% decrease compared to March (621), bringing to an end a three-month run of increases since the start of the year.

It is also 12% lower than the average number of contracts awarded each month in the year prior to coronavirus (621 between April 2019 and March 2020).

Value of Contracts Declines

The value of contracts awarded in April was £5.7 billion, a decrease of 38% compared to the previous month (£9.2 billion), and the first time since December that it has not exceeded the monthly average of £6.0 billion between April 2019 and March 2020. 67% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector.

There were 210 housing projects worth a total of £2.3 billion which represented 40% of the total value. There were also 21 road projects worth £949 million (13%) and 49 office projects with a total value of £581 million (10%).

England accounted for 80% of the value of contracts, 42% of which were in London and the South East. Wales represented 11% of the total this month, thanks to a £590 million contract to extend the A465 in Merthyr Tydfil to two lanes in both directions.

Lack of Tender Opportunities

The number of tender opportunities available in April was 455, which was a 21% decrease compared to March (574). It is also 41% below the monthly average of 768 projects available for tender pre-coronavirus between April 2019 and March 2020.

At present, there are just 291 tender opportunities available until the end of June 2021, according to Builders’ Conference.