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A strengthening of the private housing sector is boosting opportunities for the construction industry in the West Midlands.

Glenigan’s construction industry analysis shows that the total value of projects given detailed planning approval in the West Midlands in the first quarter of 2024 was 15% ahead of the same period in 2023.

Planning permission was granted on £2,103 million-worth of work with major schemes in Birmingham and the regions due to start work over the next 12 months.

CGI of the Garrison Circus development in Birmingham

One of Birmingham’s biggest residential schemes, the £180.9 million Garrison Circus (pictured) to provide 546 flats and 710 student accommodation units, is expected to begin construction in December (Project ID: 23190739).

Birmingham boost

Despite the city council declaring bankruptcy earlier this year, the prospects in Birmingham for investment from the private sector in construction work are strong and led by the residential sector.

“Despite the financial and economic challenges facing the city, investor confidence remains strong,” said consultants Deloitte in its latest Birmingham Crane Hire Survey, which forecasts that 8,848 new homes will be delivered in the city over the next three years.

Glenigan’s construction market research shows that more residential schemes continue to come through the planning system in Birmingham.

Major private residential developments in the city that were approved in the first quarter of this year include the £50 million first phase of the Smallbrook Queensway scheme (Project ID: 19301960) and the £200 million Essington development (Project ID: 22418394). Construction is due to start imminently at Smallbrook Queensway and by December on The Essington development.

Wider investment

This investor confidence in the private residential sector is extending beyond Birmingham.

Glenigan’s construction market research shows that £528 million-worth of private residential work was approved in the first quarter of 2024. This total is up 39% on the same stage a year earlier.

Across the region, Bloor Homes recently agreed planning for 329 homes at Keresley End in Coventry and is expected to start work in July (Project ID: 22377893), while David Wilson has permission for 388 units at the same site (Project ID: 18067114).

In Burton-on-Trent, Crest Nicholson is expected to begin construction in May on the Branston Locks development of 284 houses (Project ID: 22260838).

Top contractors

VINCI has been awarded the largest amount of work in the region in the last 12 months. Work won by the UK arm of the French construction behemoth includes the £26.9 million redevelopment of the Old Hippodrome in Dudley, where construction is due to start in December (Project ID: 20454955).

West Midlands – Top 10 contractors April 2023 to March 2024

Position Contractor Number of Projects Civil (£m) Building (£m) Total (£m)
1 VINCI 17 9.1 128.3 137.4
2 Sir Robert McAlpine 3 0.0 123.4 123.4
3 Winvic 6 0.0 115.3 115.3
4 Morgan Sindall 21 1.0 105.5 106.5
5 Wates 3 0.0 93.3 93.3
6 Royal BAM 4 0.0 89.8 89.8
7 GMI 3 0.0 85.1 85.1
8 Speller Metcalfe 12 20.0 57.0 77.0
9 Willmott Dixon 6 0.0 61.7 61.7
10 Deeley 4 0.0 54.5 54.5

Source: Glenigan

VINCI is also benefitting from its joint venture with Sir Robert McAlpine in the IHP Integrated Health team, which is due to start work in July on an £88.6 million hospital transformation programme in Shrewsbury (Project ID: 23221922).

Wider opportunities

Schemes in other sectors are also progressing through the planning system, such the £50 million Doverdale Solar Farm in Droitwich, where work should begin on site this summer (Project ID: 21143208).

This growing pipeline of work will support all levels of the industry as the total value of work approved at an underlying level, which is projects valued at £100m or more, rose by 11% on the final quarter of 2023.

With the housing market providing opportunities and the HS2 rail link also still providing work, the West Midlands is set to keep the construction industry busy over the next 12 months.

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