East Anglia is at the forefront of growth for the construction industry, says report

Thursday, August 21, 2014
6:00 AM

East of England is at the forefront of growth in the industrial construction sectors, according to latest figures.

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Barbour ABI, which supplies construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), cabinet office and treasury, has published its latest economic and construction market review, which shows that the value of industrial construction contracts across East Anglia totalled more than £180 million in July - this accounted for 44.4% of the overall contracts awarded for the sector UK-wide, an increase of 40.2% on July 2013.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), based at Bircham Newton, near King’s Lynn, said the figures underlined the important role construction is playing in returning the economy back to growth.

Catherine Bullough, CITB sector strategy manager for the East of England, said: “Construction is a vibrant and exciting industry that is worth billions of pounds a year to the east of England.

“The industry benefits the local economy as construction workers spend their salaries where they live, with 90p returned to the local economy for every £1 paid in wages.

“With recent research suggesting the industry needs 20,000 new apprentices in the east of England over the next five years, it couldn’t be a better time to get into the industry.”

According to Barbour ABI’s report, the eastern region accounted for 11% of the total value of construction contracts awarded across all sectors in July, hot on the heels of London and the South East with 15% each and the North West with 12%.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Industrial construction activity in July was at its highest since Christmas, and the East of England was right at the forefront of this growth.”

As reported yesterday, bosses at Drayton-based RG Carter Group said the company is “well placed” to capitalise on the improving economic picture despite challenges in the building industry.

The construction company saw turnover rise £22.8m to £261.4m to December 31, 2013, as pre-tax profits fell marginally from £5.4m to £5.1m.

Meanwhile, RG Carter Construction Ltd saw turnover rise £26m to £239m over the same period.

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