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Birmingham Tops UK Cities in Latest Construction Survey

Posted on 16 October 2012 by editor

In a recent survey undertaken by The Drivers Jonas Deloitte 2012, measuring construction forecasts output for five major cities, Birmingham has been identified as the best performing city. The five UK cities included are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Birmingham boasts 56% of all new construction output with 14 new starts scheduled, a rise in 6 from the previous year. The new starts include:  The Pallasades Shopping Centre and John Lewis store, the New Street Station re-development and various educational constructions at Aston University, UCB and BCU.

The survey, which takes place annually with data collected from July to August, monitors development activity across the office, retail, residential, student housing, education, leisure and hotel sectors.

Remarkably, out of the five cities, Birmingham was the only city to record an increase in new construction starts.

Overall, there is a 36% national decrease of activity (in comparison with the previous year) proving that overall economic difficulties in the UK and the construction industry as a whole, prevail. However, positively for Birmingham, 14 of the total 25 new starts are in the city (56%).

Philippa Pickavance, Head of Agency, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “The results of the Crane Survey are always a good measure of the development activity in a region and the increase in activity across Birmingham is reflective of the attitude of the local business and economy in driving the city forward through investment, even in tough times.

Where other cities across the UK are seeing no new development in many sectors, with the exception of the thriving student housing sectors, Birmingham continues to move forwards with development across all sectors, albeit with the previously active residential and office sectors more muted.”

On a positive note the market is good for occupiers who are looking to move as there are some good deals to be had. In addition, we still have some good quality new stock already on site where Hines are the main developer at Two Snowhill, which will deliver Wragge’s new offices in early 2013 and will also see 120,678 sq. ft. available to let.

Hines/Moorfield have embarked on the substantial refurbishment of Five Brindleyplace, which includes providing additional space to provide a 134,000 sq. ft. building, along with creation of improved public domain area externally. This represents one of the two new commercial space starts in the city this year, the other being 16,000 sq. ft. of offices at the Mint scheme.”

Bruce Hartle, representing the Construction Industry Sub-contractors, said: “These results are very positive for the construction industry in Birmingham. The industry has suffered dramatically in the recession, but this report signals some very positive growth for contractors and sub-contractors looking for work in the city.”

The 2012 survey forecasts that student housing schemes and education projects are showing the most active construction sectors – it is thought to be because of universities trying to attract fee paying students.

Although activity in the commercial and residential sectors are low, Birmingham by comparison is the best performing region in the residential sector due to two new starts that represent the total residential new starts for all five cities in the survey.

Bruce Hartle, 265a Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 3AL. Tel: 0121 733 8511


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