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Construction in the South East is outpacing other regions and providing a boost for contractors.

Glenigan’s construction industry research shows that the underlying value of project starts (schemes valued under £100m) leapt by 28% in the final three months of last year compared to the previous quarter. There was also a rise of 23% on the final quarter of 2021.

Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén comments: “Despite wider economic concerns, there still appears confidence amongst clients in certain sectors in the South East.”

Private housing projects are up by 69% compared to a year ago, while the underlying value of hotel and leisure starts (schemes valued under £100m) has surged 79%. Retail work also leapt by 123%, albeit from a low base.

Projects getting the go-ahead in the final quarter of 2022 range from a £42 million warehouse in Aylesbury, where Buckingham was appointed contractor (Project ID: 22045312) to the £18 million Sutton Valence development of more than 100 homes at Maidstone in Kent (Project ID: 22393318). Contractor AB Canham has been recruited for the construction and is expected to start work this Autumn.

Big projects

Construction started on a number of big projects in the South East last year including a £400 million redevelopment of Pinewood Studios (Project ID: 21007589).

A number of other major schemes are due to start soon. These include Yondr Group’s £400 million One Data Campus development in Slough (pictured), where construction is due to start in March (Project ID: 21161150).

CGI of the new Slough One Data Campus development

Top Contractors

Laing O’Rourke has won the most work in the South East. In 2022, the contractor grew its order book in the region to £585.7 million after bagging the Pinewood Studios job. Laing O’Rourke is also on Oxford University’s £175 million Stephen A Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities and is expected to start work at the end of this year (Project ID: 21126120).

South East - Top 10 contractors January 2022 to December 2022

Contractor Number Civil (£m) Building (£m) Total (£m)
Laing O'Rourke 4 - 585.7 585.7
ISG 8 - 524 524
Kier 24 162.7 297.9 460.6
VolkerWessels 10 335.9 47.2 383
Morgan Sindall 57 1 268.4 269.4
Galliford Try 22 79.2 112.6 191.8
Willmott Dixon 21 20 139.8 159.8
Wates 11 5 128.9 133.9
Glencar 5 - 125.2 125.2
Winvic 4 16 97.2 113.2

Source: Glenigan

ISG is ranked second after landing more than half a billion pounds-worth of work in the South East. This includes the Slough data centre scheme and other major projects in the region including the £60 million Project Apple laboratory hub at Windlesham in Surrey for UCB (Project ID: 21159369). Glenigan’s industry research shows that construction is due to start in May.

Kier runs in third with a South East order book totalling £461 million and a number of major schemes that are due to start construction soon, particularly in the justice sector.

Kier is expected to start construction in May on an £84 million residential block at the HMP Elmley prison in Kent (Project ID: 22028909). Work should start the same month on a £49 million houseblock at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire (Project ID: 22000692).

South East pipeline

Concerns over the economy have sent the value of work entering the planning pipeline into reverse in many other regions, but Glenigan’s research shows that the South East is holding up.

In the final quarter of 2022, the value of detailed planning applications for health work rose 65%, while approved hotel and leisure projects also rose 8%.

These projects should move through the procurement cycle and help support the industry in the South East in the year ahead.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new construction projects in the South East if part of your subscription.
Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for construction projects in the South East? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.