A report released last week (27 November) reveals that the construction pipeline in the North of England could increase fivefold if major transport infrastructure projects are given the go ahead in next week’s Autumn Statement.
Barbour ABI, which is a chosen provider of construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government, has published the special report examining current trends in the northern construction market and its prospects for the future.
In the report, it is revealed that the top 25 most valuable projects in the pipeline for the North of England total £8.2 billion. This figure could be set to quintuple if projects such as the £20 billion Trans-Pennine high speed rail development and Phase 2 of HS2, worth £21.2 billion, are approved.
Experts also believe these projects would create a fully integrated transport hub for the northern regions, facilitating the concept of a ‘ManSheffLeedsPool’ regional economy by building on the individual and collective power of each of these major conurbations.
It is thought the idea of a ‘northern powerhouse’ will be a focal point of Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on December 3, with the Government set to outline plans for greater infrastructure investment and devolution outside of the capital.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, commented:
“Our report clearly shows that the northern regions would benefit greatly from investment in transport infrastructure, both in terms of boosting construction output and improving wider economic prosperity.”
“While London and the South East are still dominant, accounting for more than a third (35 per cent) of the UK’s construction output last year, the northern regions are performing strongly in the medical, healthcare, industrial and residential sectors.”
“At present, the construction pipeline for the top 25 most valuable projects in London and the South East totals £47.8 billion, outweighing the North’s by five to one. If these transport infrastructure projects do get the green light, it will surely go some way to bridging the gap.”