Scottish firms encouraged by industry growth

Kier image

OUTPUT in the construction industry was estimated to have increased by 7.4% when comparing the 2014 annual data with 2013, according to the latest ONS stats.

All work types recorded increases except infrastructure, public other new work and private commercial work. The largest increase was reported by total new housing, increasing by 23.0% in 2014 compared with 2013.

Scottish Building Federation Managing Director Vaughan Hart said, “2014 was a good year for the UK construction sector with total output increasing by 7.4% to stand at £121.3 billion. Full-year figures aren’t available yet for Scotland but the first three quarters of last year show solid growth across nearly all sectors.

“There was particularly significant growth in infrastructure, helped in large part by good progress on the new Forth Crossing. There are encouraging signs of recovery in housebuilding as well. Our members will take heart from these latest results. The main focus now is on recruitment into the industry. To sustain this positive momentum through 2015, rebuilding skills and capacity will be absolutely crucial.”

Managing director of Kier Construction’s Scotland & north-east England business, Brian McQuade, said, “It’s been a very encouraging start to 2015 and it’s great to see the confidence, optimism and growth that exists within Kier being replicated nationally. New business wins, framework appointments and contract completions ensure that we are in a position to maintain a healthy order book. We are currently recruiting and maintaining our rigorous policy of employing local people to work on local contracts, wherever possible. Creating jobs, and ensuring that local people are directly involved in the construction of valuable amenities in their area, such as schools, care homes, hospitals and community centres, is a policy that works for us and one that we will maintain for the foreseeable future.”

Allan Callaghan, Managing Director of Cruden Building & Renewals, added, “Once again the steady growth evidenced in today’s report confirms the optimism which is currently being felt throughout the construction sector in Scotland, and within my own company, Cruden. “The buoyancy and confidence that we are experiencing has been replicated by house buyers with recent statistics confirming a 3.1 % jump in house sales during the last quarter of 2014, and a 3.4% upswing in house prices during the same period. That’s a positive way to kick off 2015, is great news for the sector as a whole, and very encouraging news for both for house builders and buyers.”