What to expect from the UK and Birmingham construction industry in 2018
Headlines of UK construction news in 2017 were still largely dominated by the nation’s vote to leave the EU. Brexit has caused a great deal of uncertainty, but the construction sector has shown an admirable resilience. Final figures show that the sector as a whole grew last year, and a surge in housebuilding in December was responsible for some much-needed, last minute growth.
Birmingham certainly played its part in these efforts, as the city continues to lead the way in new and exciting large-scale developments. So with 2018 just beginning, here’s a look at what to expect from the construction industry this year.
The possibility of slower growth
So-called “industry experts” have been proclaiming major slowdowns in growth for more than 2 years now, but it would appear that 2018 could see these claims coming true. The trade body known as Construction Products Association (CPA) claims that the sector will likely expand, but at the slowest rate for 6 years.
Meanwhile, a recent article published in the Guardian suggests that optimism in the construction sector is at a 5-year low. However, we will have to see if these claims will actually amount to anything.
With regards to legislation, plans are well underway in introducing steps to help counteract the organised fraud that is present in labour provision. Springtime will see this legislation being drafted, with a proposed finalisation date in September this year.
More notable is the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is set to go into effect in May. It will change the way that all UK businesses handle sensitive client data. If you’re not yet up-to-date with the changes it will mean for your business, then here is a useful guide to get you started.
Events you should be attending
If you’re passionate about growing your construction company, the UK offers plenty of trade shows to attend. These are great opportunities to network and generate new leads. Here are some of the best construction events to visit this year. As always, the UK Construction Week is possibly the most exciting event to attend, and Birmingham will again play host. It is set to take place at the Birmingham NEC from the 9-11 October.
Major construction projects
As mentioned, Birmingham remains the UK’s most exciting city outside of London for major construction projects. There is an ever-present demand for more residential buildings, and firms are stepping up to meet the demand. Wates will soon be well underway with their £31 million deal to build a 31-storey tower block of flats. Whilst Chinese-backed investment will see almost 300 student bedrooms being built at the site of the former Birmingham Nautical Club in Bishopsgate Street.
Perhaps the most exciting project currently underway is the new HS2 high-speed rail line that is to be built, connecting Birmingham and London. The £55bn project was finally approved early last year, meaning 2018 will see this project pick up some serious pace. You can find out more about HS2 here; however, don’t expect to be riding the line until at least 2026.