Many big cities and their surrounding areas are enjoying quite the construction boom in recent times. In previous months, the uncertainties surrounding the UK’s planned departure from the European Union have led to stalls and slow-downs due to many businesses taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, which has further slowed the economy. But as more businesses in big cities are taking the leap to activate the construction industry in their local areas in the face of Brexit fear-mongering, more and more companies in these cities and their surrounding areas are joining them, creating islets of constructions booms across the United Kingdom.
It’s not just the construction firms that are enabling this growth, however, with UK-based B2B companies at the ready to keep pumping in key supplies to enable the boom. Construction booms bring with them many benefits, from supporting construction firms and B2B companies to creating more jobs (in the sectors that will flourish once the construction is complete). Construction is the backbone of a strong economy, and right now, many cities are benefitting from taking the plunge and pushing through a great many projects.
Brexit reportedly freezing the industry earlier this year
It has been a torrid time for many UK industries in the wake of Brexit: with each passing delay and postponement of a deal or no deal taking place, uncertainty sets in further. Due to this uncertainty, smaller-scale consumers have been spending less on major projects, such as extensions on their homes. But it’s not just at the general public level: Brexit has had an impact on all parties involved in the sector – from small builders and large contractors to B2B firms like construction material suppliers and subcontractors.
Over the summer, the British construction industry hit a ten-year low in monthly performance which was squarely blamed on Brexit. Firms within the industry were suffering from the ‘wait and see’ approach deployed in the private and public sectors, which contributed to the economic slowdown of the country in anticipation of Brexit happening. Of course, the Brexit decision was pushed back once again, further elongating this spell of uncertainty. However, in some of the UK’s major cities, and subsequently the surrounding towns and cities, some private and public bodies have decided to jump in before another round of Brexit fears comes around and delays growth.
The support is still there to bolster the boom
In the wake of the Brexit-induced decline in performance during the summer and a looming Brexit decision already appearing to adversely impact the construction industry, some forecasts would have predicted a slow process of building back up again. But in the UK, with the support of steadfast B2B enterprises, mainly industrial suppliers, the foundations remained in place to allow construction booms to occur across the country.
As many will have noticed over the years since the initial Brexit vote, businesses from a wide array of different sectors have altered, halted, or slowed their supply of goods and services to the UK. Be it due to the uncertainty or some attempts to adjust to the impending landscape, jobs are being cut, downsizing is taking place, and some companies are seriously considering leaving the country. This has also hit construction supply firms, but one UK-based supplier of core construction materials, such as perforated sheet and flooring mesh and steel tubes, decided to enhance their digital solutions to create a more connected, smart, and efficient supply chain more capable of supporting the construction industry. This pre-emptive readjustment has no doubt proven its worth to the business in the current boom.
Major UK cities indulging in the construction boom
As explained before, construction is integral for growth and building a healthy economy. In these times of economic uncertainty, seeing major cities hit new highs for construction activity is very encouraging. While the country was enjoying this boom in February, it was found that construction activity hit a record high in the regional cities of Leeds, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester, with the sectors of retail, student housing, education, offices, and hotels showing sustained or increased activity. More recently, in November, it was further noted that in the face of Brexit uncertainty, plans to build 15,000 more homes were in place in the previous month, with West Midlands even seeing a 56 per cent construction boom during the daunting summer.
Manchester is certainly enjoying this construction boom, what with the north-west area running construction output at ten-times the national average last year. Construction work has gone into creating the fifth-highest building in the UK, Deansgate Square South Tower, developing the north of the city, the Mayfield regeneration programme, and Manchester council has set a target of building 32,000 homes over the next five years. The boom in Manchester has inspired other surrounding areas, including Bolton, Stockport, and Blackburn, to embark on regeneration projects of their own, becoming hotbeds of construction activity.
Given the fears that have gripped the general public and major corporations of the UK, this construction boom flies in the face of the all-too-common approach to Brexit. With a strong foundation of UK B2B companies always looking to better their supply to construction firms, the industry has been able to jump at any areas looking to continue to grow, creating a boom which continues to inspire other cities forward.