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The Welsh construction industry enjoyed a boost over the summer that looks set to continue as major projects enter the procurement pipeline.

In the three months to the end of August 2023, the underlying value of construction project starts in Wales surged by 50% compared to the preceding three months according to Glenigan’s construction industry analysis.

Although this total remained down on a year earlier, there are positive signs for change as major developments move forward, such as the £80 million Fairwater Community education campus in Cardiff (pictured) (Project ID: 22020530). A detailed planning application was submitted this summer. If successful, contractor ISG should start work next March.

Data input

Wales is also attracting investment from companies building data centres.

Vantage recently submitted detailed plans for one of the biggest data centres in Wales and the UK. The St Athan Data Centre in Barry, South Glamorgan, is valued at £284 million. If planning is secured, work should start next May (Project ID: 22038068).

In Newport, proposals are being developed for a £148 million data centre in Celtic Way (Project ID: 23134133).

Also in Newport, Bouygues recently bagged the contractor’s role on the CWL12 proposal for four data centres and should begin construction in November (Project ID: 20087544).

Industrial boost

Industrial work is barrelling forward and the value of starts quadrupled in the latest quarter to £201 million.

More work is in the pipeline with developer FI Real Estate Management recently securing planning permission to build three units at Wrexham’s Industrial Estate (Project ID: 21557048). Work should start next summer. The same client has also submitted plans for a £10 million industrial development in Caernarfon (Project ID: 22032491

Facing north

Also in north Wales, the £90 million Wrexham Gateway (Project ID: 19237133) is producing a number of schemes.

Work started this summer on a £25 million redevelopment of Wrexham Football Club’s stadium (Project ID: 19237133). Plans for a £20.2 million transport hub are expected to start next March (Project ID: 18262444) and an £8 million business centre at Wrexham University should start the previous month (Project ID: 23083783).

Welsh Top 10

The most successful contractor in Wales is Morgan Sindall. In the 12 months to August 2023, the company won contracts totalling £148.1 million including the Wrexham stadium job and a £30 million school in Haverfordwest, where work should start next March (Project ID: 23176932).


Wales – Top 10 contractors September 2022 to August 2023

Contractor Number of Projects Civil (£m) Building (£m) Total (£m)
Morgan Sindall 11 6.8 141.3 148.1
Wates 4 0.0 125.6 125.6
ISG 4 0.0 114.6 114.6
Bouygues UK 3 3.1 78.8 81.9
Knights Brown 3 35.0 33.9 68.9
Willmott Dixon 3 1.0 62.5 63.4
Royal BAM 4 48.6 7.3 55.9
C Wynne 9 0.0 50.9 50.9
Morganstone 3 0.0 39.8 39.8
Jones Brothers (Henllan) 3 0.0 33.4 33.4


Source: Glenigan

A number of smaller Welsh contractors also feature among in the country’s Top 10 including Rhyl-based C Wynne, which is ranked eighth and working on a £14 million extension to Coleg Cambria in Wrexham (Project ID: 21021180). The firm is bidding on a number of other deals in Wales including a £10 million orthopaedic theatre in Llandudno (Project ID: 23260919).

Llanelli-based Morganstone is a place behind C Wynne with work including the £30 million Willows residential scheme in Swansea (Project ID: 22002390).

Prospects improve

Prospects in the education sector are improving with the value of detailed planning approvals almost doubling to £401 million in the latest quarter, boosted by the £280 million Bridgend College redevelopment (Project ID: 20059411).

With project starts beginning to increase and schemes moving through the pipeline across a range of sectors, Welsh prospects are improving.

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