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The construction industry in Northern Ireland is showing signs of improvement.

The latest construction industry statistics from Glenigan show that the underlying value of project starts (schemes valued at £100 million or less) in Northern Ireland were up by 31% in the third quarter of this year.

This rise was compared to the previous three months and compared to the third quarter of last year when growth was even stronger at 51%.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén comments: “A lack of major infrastructure projects had depressed activity but there are signs of other sectors beginning to compensate.”

Major schemes underway range from a £22 million distillery in Belfast (Project ID: 19438147) to the main works on the city’s £70 million Harbour Film Studio (Project ID: 19231205).

Coming up

Glenigan’s construction market analysis shows that projects totalling £2.1 billion secured detailed planning approval in the 12 months to Q3 2022.

There is £940 million-worth of private housing work with planning, which is a year-on-year rise of 19%. Projects in the pipeline include a £35.2 million plan for 2242 houses, flats, and townhouses in Derry (Project ID: 19421821).

In the office and commercial sector, there has been an 84% rise in approved projects to a total of £142 million. Approved schemes include the £50 million Queen’s Parade commercial and residential development in Bangor (Project ID: 06485656).

Northern Ireland - Underlying value of projects with detailed planning - 12 months to Q3 2022

Sector Value (£m)
Private Housing 939.8
Industrial 310.9
Hotel & Leisure 193.0
Offices/Commercial 142.0
Social Housing 124.7
Education 91.8
Health 86.4
Retail 85.3
Civil (Utilities) 55.7
Civil (Infrastructure) 41.9
Community & Amenity 32.4
TOTAL 2,103.8

Source: Glenigan

Hire and higher

In Belfast, student accommodation work and retail work is growing according to Deloitte’s 2022 Crane Hire Survey for the city.

In the latest period, 717 student rooms were completed and a further 1,420 are under construction. Glenigan’s construction research has identified schemes in the pipeline including a £54 million plan by Mandeville Dev NI to develop 862 rooms on an island site between Little Donegall Street and Library Street (Project ID: 22060212).

Deloitte has also tracked a rise in retail projects and expects 141,000 sq ft of space to complete this year in Belfast.

Glenigan’s data suggests this trend will continue across Northern Ireland, where the underlying value of approved retail projects rose by a third in Q3 2022 on the previous quarter.

Retail schemes in the pipeline range from a £4 million Lidl store in Lisburn (Project ID: 04428457) to a £17.5 million Asda superstore at Newtownabbey (Project ID: 13265731).

Top Contractors

Graham has won the most construction work in Northern Ireland in the 12 months to Q3 2022. Glenigan’s research shows the group’s order book there surged 271% over the last year to £152.5 million. The firm’s biggest job is the £60 million second phase of the Belfast Harbour Film Studio (Project ID: 20360654).

Northern Ireland - Top 10 contractors October 2021 to September 2022

Contractor No Civil (£m) Building (£m) Total (£m)
Graham 7 25.0 127.5 152.5
Farrans 3 52.5 55.4 107.9
Heron Bros 5 0.0 57.9 57.9
Felix O'Hare 3 0.0 57.4 57.4
Ganson 6 0.0 47.4 47.4
Woodvale 5 0.0 42.2 42.2
Mascott 4 0.0 38.3 38.3
MJ McBride 4 0.0 30.5 30.5
Turkington 6 0.0 29.2 29.2
P&K McKaigue 6 0.0 26.8 26.8

Source: Glenigan

The biggest scheme to be awarded is the main works for the £105 million Belfast Transport Hub, which will provide 26 bus stands and eight railway platforms on a site by the Europa Business Centre (Project ID: 14249512). Farrans, another local outfit, is building the works in joint venture with Sacyr.

Headquartered in Spain, Sacyr is one of the few foreign contractors to have a presence in the province. While Graham, Farrans, and third ranked Heron Bros all also work in Britain, the rest of the top 10 operate predominantly in Northern Ireland, suggesting that there are opportunities for new companies and new ideas.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new construction work in Northern Ireland if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for new construction work in Northern Ireland? 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.