Mixed results for construction industry in Q1

Analysis agency Glenigan’s latest report has revealed that planning approval for projects is up, but building starts are lower than during the first quarter of 2014.

The number of large developments that received detailed planning permission in the first two months of the year was up by 36%, with most of the growth in the non-residential sector. Meanwhile, planning approvals for projects that are worth more than £100m were up by 54%.

Glenigan also found that growth is particularly strong for the school and educational facilities sector, which has risen by 18% year on year. For the residential industry, there has been no growth in comparison to 2014.

However, fewer building projects were started during the first three months of 2015 than for the same period of 2014. Allan Wilén, the Economics Director for Glenigan, explained:

“The overhang of last year’s relatively muted rise in approvals, coupled with some private-sector clients potentially pursuing a ‘wait-and-see’ approach during the run up to the general election, may keep starts subdued into the second quarter.”

He added that the fact that there are so many large projects with permission “bodes well” for the construction industry during 2015. It also means that there is a big pool of potential work for construction workers, engineers and architects in Chester and the rest of the UK.

There is quite a lot of regional variation in the figures, with the biggest growth seen in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South East. Meanwhile, the North West, London and the West Midlands all saw a drop in activity.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
April 9, 2015
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