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Construction activity fell again in October

SAEMA (Specialist Access Engineering & Maintenance Association) works with partner companies to deliver the best training and guidance in the temporary and permanent suspended access industry. We aim to keep our members updated with the latest news and developments from throughout the industry and we are pleased to share the following from Build UK – the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry,

The latest data from @buildersconf shows that #construction activity in October fell to the second lowest level recorded in the last 12 months.

The industry will be hoping that the recent Budget will provide a welcome boost for the sector with confirmation of investment in infrastructure including £11.5 billion for affordable homes, £7.6 billion for road upgrades and maintenance, and £5 billion for the remediation of unsafe cladding.

Continued Reduction in Number of Contracts

The number of contracts awarded in October decreased for the third month in a row to 362. This is 18% down on the previous month (441), 30% lower than the monthly average over the last year (527) and a 25% reduction compared to October 2020 (485). Against this backdrop, the industry will be looking for the Budget to deliver on the Chancellor’s promise of an ‘infrastructure revolution’ and generate increased construction activity over the coming months.

Value of Contracts Decreases

The value of contracts awarded in October was £4.7 billion, which was 33% lower than the monthly average recorded over the last year (£7 billion). It was also 27% down on the value awarded in October 2020 (£6.4 billion).

82% of all the contracts awarded by value were in the private sector. There were 127 housing projects worth £2.2 billion (46%), including a £380 million development in Bermondsey Place, South London, 54 education projects totalling £730 million (15%), the largest of which was a £220 million project to expand Sheffield Hallam University, and 47 office projects with a total value of £485 million (10%).

England dominated again with 91% of the value, over a third of which was in London.

Tender Opportunities Remain Scarce

The number of tender opportunities available in October was 350, which was slightly higher than September (345). However, it remains 48% below the monthly average of 667 projects available for tender between October 2020 and September 2021.

At present, there are only 222 tender opportunities available until the end of January 2022, according to Builders’ Conference.

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