London dominates UK construction for seventh consecutive month

Figures released today (December 11th) reveal that London accounted for a quarter of the total value of construction contracts awarded in November – the same as the North West, North East and Yorkshire combined.

Barbour ABI, which is a chosen provider of construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government, has published its latest Economic & Construction Market Review revealing that the value of contracts awarded in London totalled £1.2 billion in November, accounting for 25 per cent of the total UK-wide.

Compared with the rest of the UK, London has come out on top for construction activity in all but two of the past 12 months and for the previous seven months consecutively, suggesting that the North-South divide is still prevalent within the industry. Only when contract values for the North West, North East and Yorkshire are combined is London matched for its share of activity.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, commented: “This month’s figures will come as no surprise to industry professionals in the North of the country, who have long lamented the disproportionate share of construction activity that London holds.

Wider economic prosperity

“Our recent report clearly shows that the North would benefit greatly from investment in infrastructure, both in terms of boosting construction output and improving wider economic prosperity.

“While there was much talk around the Chancellor backing plans for a ‘northern powerhouse’ in his Autumn Statement last week, it is yet to be seen whether any of the planned infrastructure projects – such as HS2 and the Trans-Pennine high-speed rail link – will be given the green light.

“Looking ahead, the construction pipeline for the top 25 most valuable infrastructure projects in London and the South East totals £47.8 billion, outweighing the North’s by five-to-one. It’s crucial that these key projects in the North are given full backing in order to bridge the North-South divide.”

The Economic & Construction Market Review is a monthly report designed to give valuable insight into UK construction industry performance. It is compiled from Barbour ABI’s records of construction data for every UK planning application, and key indicators, such as the Office for National Statistics’ Construction New Orders data.

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