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Promising start to 2021 for UK construction

The UK construction market has had a buoyant start to 2021, according to latest figures from ONS.

The data[1], released in March, revealed that output in the industry grew in January, following a significant dip of 2.9% in December. New work increased by 1.7% over the first four weeks of the year and was driven by private commercial and infrastructure, which grew by 4.5% and 3.1% respectively.

With output on the rise, there’s growing confidence in the sector and new government measures are spurring on ambitious planning submissions and significant investment. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “build, build, build[2]” strategy has clearly resonated, and the sector has adapted extremely well to the challenges of COVID. Housebuilding, for example, had already returned to pre-pandemic levels by November 2020.

Rishi Sunak injected more confidence into the industry in his Spring Budget with the super-deduction on company investment on new plant and machinery assets. Launched with the objective of encouraging spend that will help businesses in the future, the tax incentive means that from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023, companies will benefit from a 130% capital allowance. This will allow them to cut their tax bill by 25p for every £1 of investment.

The stamp duty holiday extension and mortgage guarantee scheme are also boosting the residential and buy-to-let market, with sales and purchases on homes boosted and agents reporting some of their busiest months on record. The UK’s property landscape is ever-changing and the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War are in place, making it easier to build better homes where people want to live.

As the vaccine roll-out continues to gather pace and the country moves along the roadmap out of lockdown, the industry is set to face a further boost in the coming months. And the impact of this is far ranging – from construction itself, to architecture, sales, property management and beyond. Infrastructure is firmly at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy, but we can only ‘build back a better Britain’ with the right people in place to deliver.

Find out about how we work with construction clients to build their teams – sourcing the industry’s top talent to support sector growth in 2021 and beyond.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/constructionindustry/

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-build-build-build

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