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Start of the year stats show decline in contract awards values

Words: Laura Edgar
Decline / iStock-1158023944

For January 2021, the total value of contract awards was £4.3 billion, which is 10 per cent less than the monthly average of £4.5 billion recorded for 2020.

It is also 12 per cent less than the total value awarded in December 2020.

Industry analyst Barbour ABI’s latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review found that the total value of infrastructure projects was £500 million in January. This is 57 per cent lower than December 2020.

The industrial sector saw a 24 per cent decline compared with December 2020, with a contract value of £600 million awarded. However, approvals were strong, with £700 million worth of permissions granted for the industrial sector. Approvals in the hotel leisure and sport sector are worth £1.8 billion. Large projects include the £1.3 billion Olympia Redevelopment in London, a £250 million Gateshead Quays Redevelopment in the North East, and the £350 million Manchester Arena scheme in the North West.

Barbour Abi said there was “significant” activity in the warehousing sub-sector. Its report shows that two of the top four overall contract awards in January were warehouse projects. These include the £125 million Next Warehouse in South Elmsall, Yorkshire, and the £100 million Uniserve Distribution Centre in Suffolk.

Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI and AMA Research said: “The planning environment maintained activity in January, continuing its recent trajectory at lower than average levels. Those hoping for a bounce in activity as we leave the EU will be disappointed; clearly the Covid-19 pandemic remains the main factor suppressing activity. Meanwhile, it is positive to see some life in the hotel and leisure sector, with record planning approvals over the last quarter.”

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