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Construction activity for top UK contractors returns to pre-coronavirus levels

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A much wiser man than me (and before you say it, yes, I know that’s not difficult) said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Roosevelt’s famous quotation comes to mind when I look through our trade journals, and especially the UK’s mainstream media, most of which have a Masters in fear-mongering. 

That’s not to say there is nothing to worry about. A slew of bad data/news is pouring forth daily in almost every sector. Construction isn’t immune, but it’s also the case that tempered amongst the gloom there are rays, shafts even, of light*.

For example, into my inbox today comes the news that the industry analyst Barbour ABI’s monthly table shows the UK’s 50 leading contractors being awarded a total of 165 projects, with a combined value of over £3.9 billion. When you consider that the monthly average in 2019 was £3.2 billion and the monthly average between January and March in 2020 was also £3.9 billion, this is good news. Moreover, Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI & AMA Research, said that as well as the strong recovery in July, ”there was likely to be a bow wave of projects now being green-lighted after lockdown and furlough.”

Even better news, from our perspective as a north-of-the-border recruiter, is that there are some massive projects on the go just now in Scotland, with the leading contractor, in terms of UK project value being R J McLeod, who, amongst other things, are the main contractor on the £500 million Viking Wind Farm project in Shetland.

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment

* we’re seeing an almost daily shift, small but growing, in the number of jobs we’re being asked to handle at Peace.

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