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A strengthening development pipeline bodes well for construction activity in Yorkshire & the Humber during the year ahead. Whilst shrinking public sector funding put construction activity in the region under pressure during 2014, the private sector pipeline is improving with positive signs of commercial sector revival.

Indeed the value of approvals shot upwards during 2015, rising 47% over the year. The residential and commercial sectors drove these gains, although there were also positive indications from the education and civil engineering sectors.

The latest Glenigan /JLL index for 2015 Q4 identifies Yorkshire & the Humber as a strong growth. In addition Deloitte’s Leeds Crane Survey for 2015 showed that 16 new schemes started on site in the city during 2015, with Leeds also seeing its highest number of residential starts since 2007. Deloitte report that office construction almost doubled in 2015, with more than 865,000 sq ft now under construction, up from 425,000 sq ft in 2014. This is now the highest level of office construction on record, above the pre-recession peak of just under 700,000 sq ft in 2007.

In addition construction prospects for the region have received a further boost this month, with DONG Energy making a final investment decision to proceed with the Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm. At a capacity of 1.2 gigawatt (GW), Hornsea will on completion be the world’s first offshore wind farm to exceed 1,000 MW in capacity and by a large margin become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Work is expected to start on site next year and the wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned in 2020.

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