The UK’s Construction Hotspots

The UK construction industry is always growing, and despite a slight fall in the summer of 2018, as forecasted by the Construction Products Association, 2019 is set to see a 2.3% rise and a further 1.9% increase the year after. Thanks to recent intelligence reports, we now have an in-depth analysis of the UK’s construction hotspots in 2018, allowing us to pinpoint where we can serve the needs of clients who require site accommodation and storage the following year.

What is a Construction Hotspot?

Understandably, some regions of the country will see more activity in construction than others. A construction hotspot is identified a region that has been awarded significantly more contracts than in previous years. In most cases, this demonstrates heightened construction activity in the area or a higher value in the contracts awarded. For example, in 2016, the Orkney Islands was the second-smallest region for construction activity. However, only a year later it was the fastest growing region for contract awards.

To accurately identify the construction hotspots for 2018, therefore, analysts must take the data from 2017 and compare it with the average value of awarded contracts over the past four years across sectors including: residential, commercial and infrastructure. This, in turn, puts us in a strong position to identify where construction will begin in 2019.

  • Residential: private housing developments, student accommodation, new build, conversions and change of use.
  • Commercial: retail, offices and supermarkets.
  • Infrastructure: roads, bridges, railways and stations, harbours, ports, waterways, energy and utilities.

Manchester:  The Residential Hotspot

Manchester has been driven by the award of contracts in its city centre, namely for costly developments in the areas of Circle Square, Princes Street, Jacksons Row and Portugal East Street. These have been valued between £77 million and £235 million. The professional serviced company Turner & Townsend reported that construction output increased by a staggering 30.7% in the North West of the UK, where high demand stands alongside an insufficient supply of contractors.

Leeds:  The Infrastructure Hotspot

In Leeds, the planned upgrade of the Transpennine rail route west of the city meant that it was awarded a £2.25 billion contract. Additionally, a £120 million energy from waste facility in Keighley (set for completion in March 2020) was also awarded making the Yorkshire and Humber region’s total four times larger than the 2016 value.

The HS2 Effect

HS2 is a high-speed rail project that will be constructed between London and the West Midlands, with preparatory work continuing into 2019.  In total, it is expected to cost £55.7 billion to complete. Alongside this, the government has strategic plans to increase housing provision around HS2 transport hubs. In Birmingham, Warwickshire, West Northamptonshire, Haringey and Islington and Hounslow and Richmond, the six contracts were awarded for HS2. Each contract was valued at £1 billion, turning these areas into infrastructure hotspots.