Construction National

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Last updateTue, 24 May 2022 10am

The industry continues the good work, and congratulates the best of its members

January saw the year off to a good start for the construction industry, with one report showing higher levels of growth than at any time since 2007. The UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index – a statistical tool jointly compiled and published by market research company Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply – reported growth in all sectors. The irony is that the continuing growth in activity has led to a parallel “deterioration in supplier performance”. Seems product suppliers have not cottoned on to the fact that the industry is out of recession and is not keeping up with demand.

 The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI (to give it its rather convoluted full title) is not the only index to be showing consistent growth.

The latest Construction Trade Survey from the Construction Products Association, published on 7 February, marks the first time in over five years that the industry recorded three consecutive quarters of growth. Firms across all areas reported increased output, including building contractors, SMEs, specialist contractors, civil engineers and product manufacturers.

Its economics director, Dr Noble Francis, said: “Growth was driven by the housing sector, though this was partially offset by a drop in repair and maintenance work.  Building contractors, SMEs and civil engineers reported rises in output, although Q4 levels were not as strong as Q3.  Indeed, only product manufacturers saw activity levels higher in Q4 than Q3.

In recent months the NHBC, RICS and even the Office for National Statistics have reported increased activity, demand and boosts to employment and training.

• The NHBC has also been crowning its kings of the site managers. January is when it holds its annual Supreme Awards ceremony of its Pride in the Job competition. This year congrats are heartily due to a combination of old hands and new(ish) faces. The most recently-established category of single plot was won by Chris Brinton of Churchill Retirement Living Ltd, while first-time Supreme Awards went to Scott Brown of Miller Homes Scotland and Daren Clark of Taylor Wimpey North Midlands. Stuart Gillespie Mactaggart and Mickel bagged his second, while George Lattimer of Lattimer Homes won for an unprecedented ninth time. The winners and their developments will be profiled in the paper version of Construction National next month.

• Another series of awards that recognises the behind-the-scenes specialists in the industry are the Construction News Specialists Awards. There is a wealth of categories covering the essential construction specialisms, as well as excellence in health and safety, training and low carbon activity. Significantly, its Project of the Year awards for various sizes of job are for sub-contracts, reflecting the many facets that make up a construction contract.

Chris Stokes