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Barbour ABI analyses UK construction contracts

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Based on a 3-month rolling average, construction contracts in infrastructure almost doubled in September compared to August figures. A large, £3 billion offshore wind farm greatly aided this, and continues the trend seen in 2015 where major offshore wind contracts have been awarded across the UK.

The Race Bank offshore wind farm, which spans seven miles and is located off the coast of Norfolk, is the highest value renewable energy contract ever recorded by Barbour ABI. The contract is so large it has propelled the East Midlands region to the top spot for the highest total construction contract value in September, a spot which is usually occupied by London.

According to the latest Economic and Construction Market Review from Barbour ABI, September witnessed an increase in activity, with the value of construction contracts reaching £7 billion. This is the highest it has been since Barbour ABI started tracking the series. Infrastructure accounted for nearly 60% of the amount of construction contract values in September, with residential following at on 16%.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “With many sectors, such as public housing and industrial, decreasing in contract values across September, it was a boost to the industry that infrastructure performed so strongly. This is another sign of continued growth in offshore renewable projects, after the shrinking of onshore subsidies.”

The boost in infrastructure is not just coming from renewable energy projects which is an encouraging development. The main works for the Thames Tideway Tunnel also reached contract award stage in September, as did a number of London Underground Station upgrades. This is further evidence that sustained investment for infrastructure is beginning to occur within the UK. The major challenge now facing the industry is ensuring that labor and materials are in place to continue delivering projects on such a scale.

Adapted from press release by

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