Setting New Benchmarks

The BCLive league table maintained its £4 billion monthly total for the sixth month in succession whilst notching up a few new highs along the way.   The Builders’ Conference CEO Neil Edwards reports on yet another positive month for UK construction.

Having passed the £4 billion monthly total of new contract awards each month since the beginning of the year, the fact that the BCLive league table topped that mark again in June 2018 is, perhaps, no great surprise.   The style with which it did so, however, was rather less predictable.

The BCLive league table in June reported on new contract awards for more than 400 individual companies; a new high for a year in which 350 has become the established norm.   Thirteen of those companies each secured more than £100 million worth of new work, itself a new high for 2018.   Perhaps most notably of all, the monthly total on the BCLive league table fell just short of the £5 billion mark, another new high for the year.

And those were not the only established norms being broken.   Until the end of May 2018, Wates and Kier Group had shared the spoils having topped the BCLive league table twice and three times respectively.   In June, however, the crown passed to Multiplex which secured a single £400 million contract to top the table by a significant margin.   That contract is for a mixed-use development for client Northacre PLC at the previous home of New Scotland Yard in Westminster, London.   It will comprise 268 residential apartments and approximately 13,000 m3 of commercial and retail space together with links to Victoria Street and St James Park tube station.

Kier Group took second place in the monthly round-up, collecting eleven new contract awards worth a combined total of £212.6 million.   This includes a £40 million contract to build more than 120 dwellings at 1 Station Square in Tottenham, North London for a private client

Interserve claimed third place on the BCLive league table with a five contract haul.   The largest of these is a £200 million new build for a prison at Glen Parva in Leicestershire for the Ministry of Justice that will ultimately accommodate around 1,600 adult male inmates.

Balfour Beatty claimed fourth place on the BCLive league table, picking up six new contract awards worth a combined total of £155 million.  The largest of these was an £87 million contract to improve the A6120 between Redhall and Thorpe Park in West Yorkshire for Leeds City Council.

The Smart Motorway initiative helped propel Galliford Try and Costain into fifth and sixth spot respectively.   Galliford Try Beatty won the £67 million contract to upgrade the M56 between Junctions 5 and 6 in Manchester to Smart Motorway status, taking its monthly total to more than £153 million.   Meanwhile, Highways England awarded Costain the £150 million refurbishment and repair contract from Junction 21(a) and Junction 25 in Warrington.

Other notable new contract awards this month include a £100 million Innovation Centre new build at the University of Cardiff that was won by Bouygues; and a £50 million extension to East Midlands Airport’s Logistics Building that was won by Winvic.

While the number of projects recorded in the second quarter of 2018 was up by around 17 percent on the previous quarter, the value of those contracts was almost identical.  

Against a background of a yearly high monthly total on the BCLive league table, it seems churlish to focus on such negativity.   But those quarterly totals mean the industry is effectively doing more work for less.   That is a trend worth monitoring if UK construction is to maintain its six months of positivity.

Quick review of BCLive table for June 2018

  • 418no companies were detailed as winning new contracts during June 2018
  • 750no new construction orders are detailed on BCLive
  • Multiplex secure overall top spot with £400 million of new work
  • New order winners in £1M to £5M category was Engie UK Ltd with office throughout the UK & the £1M and under category went to ITC Concepts Ltd
  • Engie UK Ltd secured the most number of new construction orders in the month with 15no

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