GB’s hotspots and coldspots

Phase 1 of the HS2 project is set to play a key role in parts of Great Britain where HS2 hubs will be built, unlocking an enormous rise in wider regeneration and investment in residential, commercial and infrastructure projects.

Five regions are reaping the benefits of £7.2 billion of work awarded contracts, including west Northamptonshire, which had a 200% increase in construction contracts awarded in 2017.

The latest data has come from the ‘Regional Construction Hotspots in Great Britain 2018’ report from Barbour ABI and the Construction Products Association, which highlights the levels of construction contract values awarded in 2017 across all regions of Great Britain.

Hotspots and coldspots identify the areas where contract awards were significantly above or below previous years, highlighting pockets of activity or contraction.

Haringey and Islington, Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames, Birmingham, Warwickshire and west Northamptonshire are the regions that have been awarded contracts for five new or redeveloped railway lines and tunnels. The new sites and related infrastructure, such as stations, will be used as a tool to unlock development in wider housing and commercial projects, falling particularly in plan with the government’s strategic objectives in the Housing White Paper to increase housing provision around key transport hubs.

City centres on the route are already taking advantage of the new connectivity, sparking, for example, a large-scale redevelopment in Birmingham. The scale of which saw two residential contracts in 2017 for £77 million and £50 million for the Bristol Street and Selly Oak developments respectively. Birmingham also received the highest commercial investment compared to the other regions on the route, as well as coming top for infrastructure investment with over £2.8 billion of work awarded.

Similarly, the transport hubs have triggered housing hotspots in Haringey and Islington and Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames in 2017, with the regions awarded £100 million and £76.5 million of housing contracts respectively. Commercial investors have also been attracted to Northampton with a £30 million contract awarded for Four Waterside, which will form part of the region’s new enterprise zone.

‘Regional Construction Hotspots in Great Britain 2018’ also report that London’s homebuilders have been outpaced by the rest of Great Britain as investment in housebuilding dropped to its lowest value in six years.

Residential contracts awarded in London in 2017 were 34% lower than the value awarded in 2016, which is in contrast to the majority of regions outside of the capital that experienced growth.

Similarly, the commercial sector in London experienced sharp falls, with commercial contracts falling by 38.5% from 2016 to 2017, totalling £2.1 billion. Of the London regions only Croydon was an area of hotspots activity, driven by higher volumes of low-value retail and office fit-out projects.