It's An Ill Wind Feb-22 Commentary of Contracts by Builders Conference

It’s the shortest month in the calendar year; it generally has the worst weather; and it often suffers from a New Year hangover.   But, as Builders’ Conference CEO Neil Edwards reports, February 2022 felt like the beginning of a premature spring for the UK construction sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic fears over Brexit failed to put a dent in the UK construction sector’s confidence.   And now Storms Eunice and Franklin and the clouds gathering over Ukraine have suffered a similar fate.

Even as the UK was being battered by high winds, UK construction was weathering the storm and notching up a BCLive league table total of £6.1 billion for the month of February.

Breezing to the top of the table this month was Berkeley Group, which secured a pair of new contract awards valued at a combined £570 million.   The largest of these is a £320 million new build of some 1,214 homes at Eight Gardens in Watford; a project that will also include more than 2,000 m2 of commercial floorspace, a new energy centre, new school and extensive landscaping.

Second on the list with eight new contract awards valued at a combined £474 million was BAM.   The most notable of these new contract awards is a new Dunfermline Learning Centre campus that also includes dwellings, a nursery, care home and assisted living facilities.   That project is valued at £220 million and the client is Hub East Central Scotland.

Maintaining the trend towards renewable energy, Acciona made it into the upper echelons of the BCLive league table, courtesy of a £300 million project to build an energy recovery facility at Giffords Recycling site in Kelvin Way, West Bromwich. The client in this instance is Versus Energy.

In the seemingly eternal battle between Kier Group and Morgan Sindall for the highest number of new contract awards each month, both companies emerged with a victory.   While Kier secured a highly impressive 24 new contract awards for a monthly total of £214 million, they were pipped to fourth place by Morgan Sindall which picked up 16 new contract awards worth a combined £296.9 million.   The most significant of the Morgan Sindall projects is a £65 million refurbishment and repair contract for National Highways.   The project is in Wymondham and is part of the National Highways Scheme Delivery Framework.

The most notable of the Kier Group projects is a £107 million new build mixed use development at The Forum in Gloucester.   The project comprises a 131-bedroom four- star hotel, 43 city centre apartments, a gym, restaurants and a new car park.

Even though offices (£681 million) education (£542 million) and entertainment (£335 million) enjoyed an uptick during February 2022, house building once again accounted for more than a third of all new contract awards (£2.36 billion).   Factor in the housing element of the mixed-use/miscellaneous sector and it is likely that house building actually contributed around half of all new contract awards.

Similarly, the West Midlands (£548 million), the North West (£538 million) and Scotland (£472 million) all reported a significant increase in demand, London retained the leadership of the regional table, delivering more than £1.55 billion in new contract awards split across 118 individual projects.

The combined forces of Brexit and COVID failed to halt the ceaseless march of the UK construction sector.   And even though they huffed and puffed, Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin failed to blow the sector off course.

Quick review of BCLive table for February 2022

297 no companies were detailed as winning new contracts during February 2022

450 no new construction orders were researched by Builders’ Conference all detailed on the UK’s only Live league table of construction contract awards BCLive

Berkeley Group secured overall top spot with a single contract worth £570 million

Kier Group was the company with the most number of new construction orders in the month with 24no totaling £214.4 million

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Full and interactive BCLive table for February 2022 can be found HERE



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