Medium sized civils firms suffering the most

Grant Prior 12 years ago

Medium sized civil engineering contractors are being hit hardest by the downturn with 63% of firms reporting falling workloads.

The latest survey by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association shows companies employing between 115 and 299 employees are suffering the most from a work drought.

The association’s Workload Trends Survey for October shows that half of all the country’s civil engineering contractors saw lower workloads during the survey period than at the same point in 2009.

Just 18% saw higher workloads. This balance of -32% represents a worsening of conditions since the last survey, where the balance was -24, although it is still some way off the -77 and -59% balances recorded in January and April respectively.

Only 4% of medium sized firms reported an increase in business.

Work on roads, rail airports, harbours, water and wastewater, electricity, communications and preliminary works were all down, with gas the only subsector showing any growth.

The outlook for the future looks little better, with order books also down on last year across all sizes of firm and types of work.

Contractors have little confidence that there will be any return to growth in the sector, with 44% of respondents anticipating their workloads will be lower in 2011 that they are now, against just 8% who expect workloads to increase.

CECA National Director Rosemary Beales said: “It is now well over two years since the industry first started to see its workload declining.

“Since then we have had tens of thousands of redundancies and there are now well over 20,000 fewer construction companies overall than there were in 2008. This is all before we experience the impact of the forthcoming cuts to public spending triggered by the Comprehensive Spending Review.

“The recently published National Infrastructure Plan highlights the fact that the UK will need to build £200 billion of new infrastructure over the coming five years.

“There is a real concern that the industry will have contracted dramatically by the time it is called on to deliver these vital improvements, which may force up tender prices and could put the future of the UK’s transport and utility networks at risk”.

Latest news

Materials giant CRH looks to sell contractor Farrans

More than 550 staff set to get new owner
7 hours ago

Ilke Homes pulls off £100m record-breaking fund raise

Largest-ever capital raise by a UK modular house builder to fund expansion
11 hours ago

Construction buyers fear for year ahead

"Construction companies now have a tightrope to walk in terms of being ready for recovery and cautious around investment"
10 hours ago

Gove calls for competition probe into house building

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill 'strengthened' with new measures
13 hours ago

Schools get £500m for energy upgrades this winter

Extra cash found for better heating controls, insulation and energy efficient lighting
12 hours ago

1,000-home North London scheme approved

Developer Hill will start work in the Spring on South Tottenham site
13 hours ago

Bid race for £500m Suffolk construction framework

Construction and building services firms called up for East of England four year deal
12 hours ago

Mace employs robot dog to avoid slip and trips in tunnel

Robot working in dark and hazardous conditions under Heathrow Airport
13 hours ago

Administrator details confirmed at Southampton M&E firm

Begbies Traynor now in charge at Working Environments as suppliers face large losses
1 day ago

Former Galliard chief takes helm at Inland Homes

New CEO Don O'Sullivan sets out to return south east house builder to profitability
13 hours ago

Applicant numbers nosedive for construction vacancies

Recruitment market gets even more competitive - how the Enquirer can help
1 day ago

Industry veteran to head Henry Bros northern arm

Peter Commins, former Kier and Balfour Beatty northern chief, to spearhead growth drive
13 hours ago

Housing association shuts in-house modular factories

Swan closes loss-making steel frame and cross-laminate timber factories
2 days ago

350-homes approved around iconic London Tube station

Housing blocks to be built around Grade II-listed Hounslow West Tube station
1 day ago

Domis set for £195m Boddingtons Brewery scheme

Developer Salboy buys Manchester site to kickstart long-awaited 556 homes project
2 days ago

John Lewis £500m funding deal to build 1,000 rental homes

Deal to advance BTR flats at store sites in Bromley, West Ealing and Reading
2 days ago

Esh launches new housing retrofit division

Esh Retrofit Solutions will target market to improve the energy performance of social rented homes
2 days ago

Eric Wright wins tricky £52m Liverpool transformation

Contractor working with engineers at Ridge and Partners on "challenging" Stanley Lock Flight site
4 days ago

Investment giant buys Bristol M&E contractor

RDCP Infrastructure acquires Avon Combined Electrical Services
5 days ago

Demolition start for £50m Farnworth town centre rebuild

Caddick Construction is tipped for main works due to start in the spring
5 days ago

L&G Modular strikes deal to build 1,000 affordable homes

Modular homes business teams up with Hampshire's Vivid housing association
5 days ago

Former Erith operations director joins John F Hunt

Scott Exell named new operations director at demolition specialist John F Hunt
5 days ago

Green light for £135m Leeds twin tower resi scheme

Construction to start in New Year on 500 build-to-rent apartments
5 days ago

Mace hits 1m tonnes carbon saving target for clients

Present work pipeline betters 2026 carbon emission saving target
5 days ago

Plans in for £40m surf park at former Kent colliery

Seahive surf lagoon and health resort will be built near Deal
6 days ago

Crushed demolition worker vows to return to industry

Shannon Brasier hoping to return to construction following horror accident
6 days ago

Mount Anvil to start 900-home North London estate rebuild

Planning approval paves way for Barnsbury Estate rebuild in Islington
6 days ago

Green light for major laboratory campus in Cambridge

Developer BioMed to tender first building on 600,000 sq ft lab complex in the New Year
6 days ago

Belfast firm signs the biggest work deal yet under Project Gigabit

Fibrus to hook-up rural Cumbria to lightning-fast broadband under £108m deal
5 days ago

McLaren wins Leeds logistics park contract

Work to start imminently on warehouse complex for Firethorn Trust
6 days ago

Contractor services