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West Midlands construction

The new £130 million engineering innovation centre for Meggitt where construction work is set to start at the Rolls Royce Aerodrome Centre, near Coventry later this year, highlights the brighter outlook for technology-led investment in the area. But it is only one of a series of major projects set to keep West Midlands construction firms busy in coming years.

According to Glenigan’s Construction market analysis, the value of underlying construction starts in the West Midlands rose by 46% in the first quarter of 2018. Moreover, it is set to continue rising for the rest of this year, helped by brighter prospects in education, health and regeneration work in Birmingham.

Landmark project After some mixed years, there are also signs of an improvement in commercial construction activity in the West Midlands. The latest JLL/Glenigan Index showed activity in the commercial sector in the region was up 2.5% in the fourth quarter 2017, on the previous three months. Meanwhile, work on a landmark project in Birmingham city centre is set to start in July when BAM Construction begins on the £80 million NatWest Tower at Colmore Row in a near-60,000 sq m development for Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust (Glenigan project id 07068775). In the region’s industrial construction sector, tenders are set to be invited for the £130 million Prospero Ansty Meggitt project near Coventry where work on a total of 45,697 sq m of space is planned to start this Autumn (Glenigan project id 17435881). Tenders are also being invited for a £12.2 million industrial scheme at Birmingham’s Erdington Industrial Park, with work set to start next summer (Glenigan project id 18115400). Healthy starts The region’s health construction sector is also showing promise. Glenigan Construction market analysis shows that the value of detailed planning approvals in the health sector in the West Midlands rose by 179% in 2017 and have continued to rise strongly in the opening months of 2018. Health construction in the region is being bolstered by the 670-bed Midlands Metropolitan Hospital being built in Smethwick, under a huge £453 million PFI deal. A Skanska UK consortium is set to continue work on the building project until 2022. As in other cities, much new housing activity in the West Midlands is linked to multi-use developments. Construction work is set to start this Autumn on the £37 million Friarsgate Development in Lichfield later this year involving some 82 flats, 11 town houses and 37 retail commercial units (project id 06142089). Applications to tender are also being invited for Homes England’s huge £350 million Athletes Village at Perry Barr for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. After the event it will be converted into around 1000 homes. Elsewhere, Persimmon Homes started work earlier this year on a £16.7 million scheme of 156 houses, 66 flats and a school at Birmingham’s Reddings Lane. Construction work is set to continue until 2020. In all, the value of private housing starts in the West Midlands rose 14% in the first four months of 2018, compared to the period last year, according to Glenigan’s Construction analysis. Activity in the region ‘s education sector has also picked up with the value of new construction starts up 49% in the first four months of 2018, compared to the period last year. Morgan Sindall recently started work on a £20 million design and build extension to the University of Birmingham involving some 3,135 sq m of space and with work continuing until mid-2019.

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