A six-year low in infrastructure projects is a cause for concern as the UK braces itself for the impact of Brexit, according to one of Scotland’s largest independent plant hire companies Jarvie Plant Group.
Figures released last month by construction sector intelligence provider Barbour ABI revealed a 97% annual decrease in infrastructure projects across the UK, its worst performing month for over six years.
The sector accounted for £784 million of construction contract values, which totaled £5.4 billion based on a 3-month rolling average, awarded across all regions of the UK during July.
David Jarvie, business development director of Jarvie Plant Group, said this is a worrying development: “We have recently witnessed the completion of the Queensferry Crossing, Scotland’s biggest infrastructure project in a generation, which produced work for thousands of people over a decade.
“The dualing of the A9, A96 and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route are ongoing but there is little sign of them being replaced.”
In May, Jarvie Plant opened a new £1m depot in Manchester which they hope will play a role in supplying equipment to HS2 and other major civil engineering and construction projects.
But whilst infrastructure projects are dipping the outlook in other sectors, in particular house building, remains positive with contract values for that sector reaching £2.5bn in July.
“For businesses such as ourselves who are hiring equipment to house builders in Scotland and the north of England, these figures are very encouraging,” explained Mr Jarvie.
Meanwhile the Grangemouth-based company, which has nine depots, said it is monitoring the Brexit talks closely and are urging the UK government to reach a trade agreement as soon as possible.
As a result of Brexit Mr Jarvie predicts “a whole host of opportunities” for the plant hire industry which is estimated to be worth £4bn to the UK economy.
“I think Brexit offers potential for more domestic contractors to successfully win contracts ahead of our European counterparts,” he added.
“From a plant hire perspective we will be able to develop closer relations with them – they’re on our doorstep; we know them.”
Source: Scottish Construction Now!
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