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Glenigan's regional league table of underlying main contract awards (under £100 million) identifies the top performing regions to focus on for new construction work.

Data of all main contracts awarded in the three months to the end of July identifies that Wales achieved the top spot with a an increase of 196% compared to last year and 75% ahead of the previous three months.

Yorkshire experienced a significant leap forward, with the West Midlands following closely behind, but the region still has some way to go against last years performance.

This article provides detailed insight into which sectors are driving growth in main contract awards in the top three regions, as well as how each region is performing in detailed planning approvals and project-starts.

Regional main contract awards (underlying) covering the three months to end of July 2021

Region Value (£m) Change on Previous Year Change on two years ago Change on preceding three months (SA)
Wales 666 196% 24% 75%
Yorkshire 1487 147% 56% 58%
West Midlands 1579 54% 52% 39%
North East 696 59% -1% 31%
North West 2233 76% 47% 26%
South East 3049 73% 30% 22%
East Midlands 1738 90% 44% 18%
East of England 2349 87% 48% 11%
South West 1430 18% 7% -3%
London 3003 9% 10% -19%
Scotland 1443 8% -2% -22%
Northern Ireland 170 -1% -52% -32%
SA: Seasonally Adjusted
Source: Glenigan

Wales

Despite project-starts in Wales remaining considerably behind 2019 levels, the development pipeline is strong with both main contract awards and detailed planning approvals recovering noticeably against the same period in 2020.

Main contract awards

Main contract awards in Wales totalled £666 million during the three months to July, a 196% increase against the previous year. The value remained unchanged compared with the same period in 2019. No major projects reached the contract awarded stage which prevented any growth against the same period in 2019. In contrast, underlying contract awards were very strong having increased 196% against the previous year and 75% compared with the preceding three-month period to stand 24% up on the same period in 2019.

Sector breakdown of underlying main contract awards in Wales during the three-months to July 2021

Sector Value (£m) Share
Private Housing 178 27%
Education 139 21%
Social Housing 130 19%
Infrastructure 107 16%
Retail 32 5%
Community & Amenity 23 3%
Industrial 21 3%
Health 17 3%
Hotel & Leisure 10 1%
Offices 9 1%
Utilities 0 0%

Detailed planning approvals

Adding up to £581 million, underlying detailed planning approvals in Wales climbed 27% against the previous year and 7% compared with the same period in 2019. However, the value slipped back 31% compared with the preceding three months (SA). No major projected reached the detailed planning approval stage, remaining unchanged on both the previous year and two years ago.

Project-starts

Totalling £357 million, underlying work starting on-site (less than £100 million in value) in Wales during the three months to July fell 5% against the previous year and 28% compared with the same period in 2019. The value also declined 13% against the preceding three months (SA). No major projects (£100 million or more) commenced on-site, remaining unchanged on the previous year but differing from the same period in 2019. Overall project-starts during the period declined 40% compared with two years ago.

Yorkshire

Main contract awards

Main contract awards experienced sharp growth against the preceding three months and previous year. Underlying-approvals fell against the previous year but remained strong compared with 2019 levels.

Adding up to £1,738 million, main contract awards in Yorkshire & the Humber increased 189% against the previous year to stand 43% higher than 2019 levels. Underlying main contract awards were very strong, having increased 58% compared with the preceding three months (SA) and 147% against the previous year to total £1,487 million. In addition, underlying contract awards during the three months to July stood 56% higher than during the same period in 2019. Major project contract awards totalled £250 million, an increase against the previous year when no major projects reached the contract awarded stage.

Sector breakdown of underlying main contract awards in Yorkshire during the three-months to July 2021

Sector Value (£m) Share
Private Housing 543 37%
Social Housing 339 23%
Industrial 136 9%
Hotel & Leisure 85 6%
Infrastructure 83 6%
Offices 79 5%
Education 66 4%
Health 58 4%
Utilities 50 3%
Retail 35 2%
Community & Amenity 12 1%

Detailed planning approvals

Detailed planning approvals in Yorkshire & the Humber totalled £1,123 million during the three months to July, a 29% fall against the previous year and 9% decrease compared with the same period in 2019. No major projects were granted detailed planning approval, differing from both a year ago and two years ago. While underlying-approvals fell 15% against the previous year, the value climbed 5% against the preceding three months (SA) as well as 9% compared with the same period in 2019.

Project-starts

Totalling £1,039 million, work starting on-site in Yorkshire & the Humber during the three months to July fell 13% against the previous year. An absence of any major projects (£100 million or more) starting on-site was responsible for the decline. While underlying-starts (less than £100 million in value) increased 110% against the previous year, the value fell 14% against the preceding three months (SA) as well as 10% compared with the same period in 2019.

West Midlands

Main contract awards performed very strongly with increases in both underlying and major contract awards. Project-starts remained up on the previous year but declined against the preceding three months and two years ago. 

Main contract awards

Underlying contract awards increased 39% against the preceding three months (SA) and 54% against the previous year to total £1,579 million, a 52% rise compared with the same period in 2019.

Sector breakdown of underlying main contract awards in the West Midlands during the three-months to July 2021

Sector Value (£m) Share
Private Housing 815 52%
Infrastructure 201 13%
Industrial 159 10%
Education 116 7%
Offices 102 6%
Social Housing 66 4%
Retail 42 3%
Utilities 30 2%
Health 22 1%
Hotel & Leisure 17 1%
Community & Amenity 8 1%

Detailed planning approvals

Detailed planning approvals in the West Midlands declined 59% against the previous year as well as by a quarter compared with the same period in 2019. No major projects were granted detailed planning approval during the period, differing from both a year ago and the same period in 2019. Underlying-approvals totalled £1,153 million and increased 1% against the previous year. However, the value fell 7% against the preceding three months (SA) and two years ago.

Project-starts

Adding up to £898 million, the value of work starting on-site in the West Midlands during the three months to July increased 95% against the previous year. However, project-starts declined 31% compared with the same period in 2019. Underlying work commencing on-site (less than £100 million in value) totalled £798 million and increased 73% against the previous year. Despite this, the value fell by a quarter against the preceding three months (SA) as well as 19% compared with the same period in 2019. A single major project (£100 million or more) valued at £100 million commenced on-site during the period. While no major projects started on-site during the previous year, the value fell 69% compared with the same period in 2019.

Glenigan customers can access monthly regional and sector market intelligence reports in your Insight pages.

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