East of England’s construction industry set for strongest growth in the UK

The construction industry in the East of England is set to experience the strongest growth in the UK during the next five years, according to figures published today.

Research by the Construction Skills Network (CSN) said that while growth in the region is not expected to return until 2013 the longer term outlook is more positive with a sustained period of steady recovery forecast.

However the fall in construction jobs is expected to continue its decline until 2013 when it will return to growth. The number of those working in the sector is set to reach 237,580 in 2015 - 5pc higher than in 2010 and 6% higher than its projected level for 2012.

The annual CSN report, produced by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry, shows that construction output in the East of England is expected to rise at a rate of 2.9pc per year over the next five years to 2016, putting it at the top of the growth table for the UK regions and devolved nations, and doubling the national figure of 1.4pc.

The strongest short term growth in the East of England is forecast for the industrial sector, where output is predicted to rise at an average rate of 13.5pc during 2012 and 2013. The new work sector is also buoyant with growth rates of 3.2pc, in contrast to the repair and maintenance sector, which is set to grow at just 0.6pc over each year.

The survey also concluded that the commercial construction sector and infrastructure sector in general is also looking promising with growth rising at an average rate of 3.7pc and 5.9pc per year respectively over the 2012-2016 period.

Easing economic and credit conditions are also expected to provide a boost to the private housing sector, with growth averaging 5.6pc per year until 2016, but public housing and public non-housing are the sectors expected to see a decline in growth, at an average rate of 3.1pc and 4.1pc.

Most Read

Increased concern over carbon emission reduction targets, along with rising energy costs, is likely to increase levels of retrofitting, energy efficiency measures and microgeneration technologies, which will become increasingly important in driving construction growth in the East of England over the longer term. The nuclear new build programme will also stimulate growth in the sector with nuclear power stations planned for Sizewell, Suffolk and Bradwell, Essex, in 2015 and 2017.

Amanda Sergeant, CITB-ConstructionSkills' Sector Strategy Manager for the East of England, said: 'The forecasts for growth in skilled sectors such as industrial construction, private housing, wood trades and energy efficiency show that there is a real need for the region to have the skilled workforce that will be required to meet demand in these areas. It is imperative that the industry continues to invest in skills and training, particularly for these emerging sectors in the region.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter