Scottish construction output value breaks £13bn after 20 per cent boost

Vaughan Hart
Vaughan Hart

There was a 20 per cent increase in output from the Scottish construction industry over the past year, according to new figures published by the Office of National Statistics.

The figures, spanning June 2014-June 2015, have been warmly welcomed by the Scottish Building Federation which added that the priority must be to attract more people into the sector to cope with the demand.

The industry’s total output value increased to more than £13 billion, with output rising across all sectors of the industry - including a 60 per cent rise in the value of infrastructure and a 29 per cent increase in public sector new work other than housing and infrastructure.

Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation, said: “It is obviously good news that output from the Scottish construction sector has hit a new high over the past year.

“However, as we have pointed out before, employment within the industry remains a long way below pre-recession levels and the industry is facing increasingly critical skills shortages across many trades.

“Our members also continue to advise us that operating margins remain extremely tight.

“Against the backdrop of these record output figures, our absolute priority must be to attract more people back into the industry, to rebuild skills and capacity and put the industry’s recovery on a sustainable long-term footing.”

Across the UK, output decreased by 1.0 per cent in July 2015 compared with June 2015, after increasing by 0.9 per cent in June. All new work decreased by 1.5 per cent while all repair and maintenance showed no growth.

A significant contribution to the decline was a fall in the year-on-year numbers of new houses being built, dropping by 2.5 per cent, the first such decline since March 2013.

Cruden Homes said it remains optimistic despite the dip in the UK statistics.

Allan Callaghan
Allan Callaghan

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, said: “While disappointing, these latest ONS figures do not match with our own experiences over the last month.

“Demand for properties at our King’s View development at Toryglen has remained unabated, so much so that we have had to bring forward the launch of our latest sales activity. This is not only good news for Cruden, but for the wider Scottish construction market in general, as it illustrates that demand in the housing market continues to grow throughout the country.

“With the confirmation that there will be a guaranteed successor to the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, allied with the Scottish Government’s announcement that is set to invest £195m in housing over the next three years, we can look forward to increased positivity and expected sector growth in the months to come.

“The sector continues to show resilience and has always faced many challenges. However, positivity remains in the sector and we predict that it will once again create real stability and sector growth for the wider Scottish economy as we move towards the end of 2015.”

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