We are now well into the New Year and the new government is starting to set its agenda. It’s fair to say that ‘infrastructure’ is near the top of the priorities list and with it plenty of new opportunities for the construction sector!
The Conservatives have promised to increase expenditure on housing, education, health and major civil engineering projects, creating more work in construction across the UK.
Major Infrastructure Projects
Existing infrastructure projects such as Thames Tideway and Hinkley Point are still absorbing construction equipment and will be for some time. The Thames Tideway is expected to complete in 2024, and Hinkley Point in 2025-26. The £1.4 billion Stonehenge Tunnel is also going ahead, with works in the very early stages before commencing on site in 2021.
Two upcoming major intermodal freight terminal projects in the Midlands which may start this year are the West Midlands Interchange, near Junction 12 of the M6 (awaiting a Development Consent Order (DCO) due by February 2020 if approved), and Northampton Gateway Rail Freight Interchange, a second intermodal freight terminal near M1 Junction 15 (approved in October 2019.) Expect to see demand increase in the Midlands for project managers, quantity surveyors, rail engineers and highway engineers as these projects get ready to hit the ground.
High Speed 2 (HS2) now has the go-ahead and this project will require unprecedented amounts of earthmoving equipment. Crossrail is entering the final stages, with a planned Autumn 2021 completion date. To get over the finish line on time, jobs for quantity surveyors, commercial managers, rail systems engineers, and site managers with rail experience will be highly sought after. Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (CP6) got underway in April 2019, which is also driving projects – and rail vacancies – across the country.
Highways funding was also promised £28.8 billion by the Conservatives for strategic and local roads, presumably focused on maintenance and upgrade works. However, Highways England still have several projects in the pipeline.
As part of their campaign pledges, a substantial increase in infrastructure spending was promised, particularly for the energy sector and IT infrastructure. Wind projects featured highly within the Conservative manifesto, and there are currently three wind farm projects awaiting a planning decision.
A Brighter Future for Construction
Forecasts from construction experts are all saying the same thing – construction growth is set to rise this year and the next, boosted by a majority government looking to stimulate the economy through construction. With the projects already underway and several more about to start – as well as the government’s pledge to build 300,000 homes a year until the mid-2020s.
The bottom line is that new construction plant will soon be in short supply with extended delivery times. NOW IS THE TIME to discuss your 2020 plant requirements! Contact our experienced and helpful team to discuss your plans without delay! Click here.