Contract awards up 29% to hit £6bn in August


The value of new construction contracts reached £6bn in August – up almost a third on the previous month, a new report by Barbour ABI has found.

Barbour’s figures showed that the value of contracts rose by 28.9 per cent month on month, with infrastructure awards exceeding £1bn for the first time in six months.

The infrastructure figures were boosted by a large volume of utilities contracts during August, with the £1.8bn Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast securing financial close.

According to Barbour, the Triton project along with the Hornsea Onshore Substation saw the East Midlands become the busiest region for new infrastructure work, accounting for 68.4 per cent of contracts by value during the month.

Other major contracts finalised in August included the M23 J8-J10 smart motorway project at Gatwick, valued at £158m.

The residential sector continued to dominate spending during the period, with deals valued at £2.2bn accounting for 36.2 per cent of the total awarded.

However, this was still below the recent peak of March 2018 when £2.4bn of residential contracts were awarded.

Commenting on the figures, Barbour ABI lead economist Michael Dall said: “It’s been a positive month – every sector within construction is up month on month and it is great to see award values boosted by some big-ticket Infrastructure projects.

 “Of course, it remains to be seen whether the better numbers are temporary as the industry continues to play catch-up with the lost output from the start of the year, but these figures should still provide much-needed confidence and are hopefully a sign of a more durable upturn in demand.”

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