What are the current positive stories coming from the UK construction industry?
You have to do some research to find any positive news coming from the construction industry at the moment, but it didn’t take me long to find a couple of really good news stories. Although the increase in interest rates has had an impact on the domestic housing market, there are significant signs that the commercial sector with infrastructure projects are starting to see real growth.
Commercial Property has seen its strongest growth since February this year and Civil Engineering has also shown a strong recovery. New job creation is also accelerated at its fastest pace since October 2022. For the construction industry, which generally employs the majority of site workers on a self-employed basis, the shift from housebuilding to commercial or infrastructure projects means, the larger infrastructure sites are now fully staffed and productivity on site is increasing.
In Spring 2023 the UK Government announced £600b public sector investment over the next 5 years, focussing heavily on infrastructure projects. If you read the Barbour ABI report on Top Construction Projects in 2023, there are already significant plans on the table for projects across the UK with the largest bringing a £9.6b investment by Network Rail and a £5.3b proposed investment in Essex in The London Data Freeport, Fen Lane. These plans for Essex are 5 mins from our offices in Romford, and the plans include a Zero Carbon Facility. The new 175-hectare site is located close to the Warley substation, and the campus will consist of 10 50MW and 5 20MW units creating a 600MW capacity. The Construction phase should be due to begin in 2023 and end in 2027, generating 10,000 additional UK jobs during the construction period, with an estimated 2300 of those jobs, being ‘high value & local’ This facility supports the innovation in zero carbon energy, digital infrastructure, and the monitoring of agricultural land use, to improve the sustainability of the planet.
This new emphasis on zero carbon and sustainability in construction is anticipated to generate anything between 120,000 and 250,000 new jobs in the sector by 2030. These new jobs will support new build projects, research and development and retrofit, specifically in the public sector and corporate offices where they need to meet new sustainable targets set by Central Government. An example of this would be the announcement this week by Pagabo (a national framework provider) £1.6b, running over 4 years, these are for the retrofit project in Great Ormand Street Hospital and also a framework hosted by Hull City Council.
These are interesting times for the UK in their drive to meet the 2030 targets, and construction plays a key role in achieving them. If you are looking for experience contract workers in the construction sector get in touch with our team in Romford today.