October has been a mixed bag of news for the UK construction industry. We have seen new multimillion pound construction deals being announced, alongside signs of contraction in the industry as a whole. Meanwhile, Birmingham continues to play host to the 2017 UK Construction Week.
Birmingham Construction News
The second week of October saw 2017’s UK Construction Week take place at the Birmingham NEC. The event was a roaring success, with a record-breaking 33,000 professionals in attendance. One of the biggest topics for discussion was the UK’s ability to innovate with any coming Brexit-related problems.
The Lichfield Canal restoration project has been in the planning stages for a while now, and it appears the group responsible are looking to raise a further £1m to get things underway. The project would run from Birmingham to Lichfield and has an estimated £17.6m price tag. Bodies already contributing considerable funds include the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, Staffordshire County Council and The Department For Transport. The article includes a link for anyone wishing to contribute to the fund.
It has now been confirmed that the Birmingham Nautical Club in Bishopsgate Street is set to be converted into a 15-storey building with 290 student flats. The project, exciting in itself, is garnering more attention as it is yet another collaboration in Birmingham between British firms and Chinese investors. It is set to be a major project which will alter the entire look of the surrounding area. Just check out the rendered projections of the finished building.
UK Construction News
Ever since the announcement of Brexit, industry analysts have been waiting for the knock-on effects to the UK construction industry. Well, recent September data has found that the UK construction industry has contracted for the first time. Analysts attribute the cause to a lower tolerance for risk alongside the impending exit from the EU. It is unclear yet just how much this may affect GDP by, or indeed what the findings from October will be.
Reports of the state of the UK construction industry are worsened over small business fears of increasing wages and material costs. A recent survey of 350 businesses found that growth in the third quarter of 2017 has slowed significantly and they face a shortage of skilled labour, alongside rising costs.
May 2018 will see the introduction of new General Data Protection Regulation in the UK, but construction firms are drastically underprepared. Some worrying statistics have sprung up from a recent industry report which, among other things, highlights that at least 35% of UK construction firms aren’t even aware of GDPR. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with how this will affect your business and any legal changes you will need to make.