Barbour ABI reports major growth in commercial and industrial construction

Barbour ABI
Growing business confidence — Michael Dall.

Office construction projects are booming, according to Barbour ABI, which reported a 26% increase in the value of such projects awarded in the UK in January compared to the same time last year. Offices accounted for 74% of the total value of all contracts awarded in the commercial and industrial sector in January.

Key contributors to the surge in activity were the award of major projects such as the £100 million development of Atlantic Square in Glasgow and the £90 million St Mary’s Axe scheme in London.

The figures from Barbour ABI, which supplies construction data to the Office for National Statistics, Cabinet Office and Treasury, put the total value of commercial and retail contracts awarded in January at £823 million, a 22.7% increase on January 2014.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said, ‘The development of new office space has really gathered pace over the past 12 months, and January’s figures now show this dominance.

‘As the UK makes its economic recover, more and more businesses are gaining the confidence to invest in their working environments, and this increasing confidence is now translating into numbers.’

The industrial construction sector is also performing well. The 3-month rolling average for January rose above £500 million compared to £362 million a year earlier. Year-on-year growth in 2014 was 26%.

Major contracts include the £156 million Parcel Force distribution centre in Chorley and a £150 million storage facility at Sellafield.

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