New report highlight’s UK digging ‘boom’

NEW research has revealed that the UK is poised to experience a ‘digging boom’ this year.

The findings were released in Digging up Britain 2021, the annual safe digging report by LSBUD. It found that construction companies, contractors and the general public used the Covid lockdown period to plan for almost one million projects, including house and road building, extensions and road maintenance.

These are likely to increase the estimated four million projects which routinely take place each year.

Before any project involving digging commences, people must do a search to check what underground pipes or cables may be in the way. The majority of these searches are done through the LSBUD portal.

In 2020, searches relating to future projects hit 904,120 – a 235,334 increase on 2019.

Richard Broome, MD at LSBUD, said, “Given that over three quarters of all digging work that takes place in the UK is preceded by a thorough search on our portal – that’s over three million projects every year – it’s safe to say that our data provides a clear picture of what’s going on in the digging world. And that data is telling us loud and clear that the construction industry is heading for a digging boom!”

The Digging up Britain report outlines where the UK’s digging is coming from and the type of work that is taking place. The majority of excavation work is being done on behalf of the telecoms sector, amounting to 36% of the UK’s total. The water industry comes next with 27%. Other big movers include agriculture projects and domestic works.

Richard Broome added, “We’re seeing more members of the public digging than ever before, repairing driveways, building conservatories and extensions, and putting in new fencing. Covid has clearly led people to think more about their home environment.”