Scotland closing in on London as construction hotspot

SCOTLAND ranked second only to London last month in the list of UK construction hotspots, with major healthcare and ­infrastructure projects driving up the value of contracts awarded in September.

Glasgows Commonwealth Games added 769m pounds in July. Picture: Getty

Barbour ABI, which provides construction data to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says the value of new contracts awarded in Scotland totalled about £1 billion.

This accounted for 21 per cent of the UK total in September, just slightly behind London at 24 per cent.

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Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said the figures represented “yet more good news” for Scotland’s construction sector.

They came just two months after another strong report in July, with more than £769 million invested to prepare Glasgow for its summer of sport.

“Contributing to this growth is a number of big ticket projects awarded in Scotland last month, including a new bypass to the west of Aberdeen worth £400m, a £300m onshore wind farm based in the Highlands and a new 350-bed hospital at ­Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary valued at £200m,” 
Dall said.

“Looking ahead, Scotland should continue to benefit from construction activity in these sectors, with nearly £10bn committed to health and social care investment in the National Infrastructure Plan 2012, as well as £730m set aside for vital transport infrastructure projects.”

Across the UK, the value of construction contracts awarded rose to £5.6bn, an increase of 5.8 per cent. That was the sector’s strongest showing since January.

Scotland accounted for nearly two thirds of the total value of medical and healthcare contracts awarded, as well as more than half of contracts awarded in the infrastructure sector.

A leading provider of data on the construction industry, Barbour ABI produces its economic and construction market review on a monthly basis. It is based on information from UK planning applications and key indicators, such as construction new orders data from the Office for National Statistics.