Despite the coronavirus lockdown putting many projects on hold, around £9.7 billion of new construction and infrastructure projects were awarded in April, according to the Builders’ Conference.
The UK construction sector continues to confound and confuse, delivering a record-breaking level by value of new contract awards from verified research carried out by Builders’ Conference amidst a global pandemic.
Back in 2008 and 2009, when the UK construction industry was in the grip of one of the worst recession in living memory, the value of new contract awards regularly struggled to make it to and beyond the £1 billion per month mark; and each new economic jitter sent that figure lower.
Fast-forward a decade and the industry finds itself staring down the barrel of a potentially cataclysmic economic downturn; one that currently has economists cowering behind their collective sofas.
Yet in March when the COVID-19 lockdown began, the UK construction industry delivered nearly £8 billion in new contract awards. And this past month (April) the sector went further still, recording a staggering £9.7 billion however the number of new contract awards was nearly 25% down compared to last month at only 524 no projects with a significant proportion of these projects (nearly 50%) falling in the infrastructure sector.
Such a figure would be remarkable even in the middle of an industry boom. But arriving as it does amidst a global pandemic, it offers just a glimmer of optimism for an upswing in workloads when the lockdown finally comes to an end.