UK healthcare construction remains robust

Glenigan’s June Construction Review shows healthcare construction is holding its ground

  • Overall the construction outlook is positive, with project starts up 5% on March-May 2021, and up 49% on lockdown-disrupted 2020
  • The value of contract awards rose by 77% on 2020, and 8% on 2019
  • Health project starts were strong, totalling £440m, and were 11% higher than a year ago
  • The value of underlying starts was 79% higher than a year ago and 8% up on the same period in 2019

Healthcare construction project starts totalled £440m between March and May this year, up 11% on last year, despite slipping back 5% against the preceding three months.

This is according to figures published in the latest Glenigan Construction Review, a monthly report providing micro analysis of Glenigan’s comprehensive construction data, as well as macro-economic commentary.

And the value of underlying starts was 79% higher than a year ago and 8% up on the same period in 2019.

Despite the development pipeline not experiencing growth against the previous year, the value of main contract awards, and detailed planning approvals, were higher than the same period in 2019.

Overall, the outlook is positive, with construction recovery gathering momentum, the report states.

The value of projects starting on site averaged £5.395m per month during the three months to May. This represents a 5% rise against the preceding three months and is 49% higher than the lockdown-disrupted period a year ago.

Furthermore, the value of contract awards rose 8% against the preceding three months to stand 77% up on a year ago and 8% above the same period in 2019.

And the value of underlying detailed planning approvals grew robustly, rising by 8% against the preceding three months to stand 39% up on a year ago.

This is contrasted by an 11% dip in the value of work securing detailed planning consent during the three months to May 2021.

Commenting on the findings, Glenigan’s economic director, Allan Wilen, said: “Encouragingly, further growth is expected with both main contract awards and detailed planning approvals strong.

”However, supply and cost of materials may dampen the pace of growth for healthcare construction as well as the wider sector.

”Further progress will be needed over the summer to bring construction activity back to pre-pandemic levels.”

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