Birmingham is bright spot in gloomy crane survey

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Birmingham is enjoying the strongest construction recovery outside of London according to the latest Drivers Jonas Crane Survey.

Birmingham is the only city showing an increase in new construction starts with work getting underway on 14 new schemes compared with eight last year.

Significant new projects include The Pallasades Shopping Centre and John Lewis store, known as Gateway Plus, the projects surrounding the New Street re-development and various educational buildings at Aston University, UCB and BCU.

The annual survey monitors development activity across the office, retail, residential, student housing, education, leisure and hotel sectors.

The five UK cities included are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Birmingham is the only city to record an increase in new construction starts, with a 75% increase on last year.

Activity in Manchester and Leeds fell (45% and 29% respectively) and Edinburgh and Glasgow recorded no new starts, although ten projects have been successfully completed in the two cities.

Overall, there was a 36% national decrease of activity.

Philippa Pickavance, Head of Agency, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “The results of the Crane Survey are always a good measure of the development activity in a region and the increase in activity across Birmingham is reflective of the attitude of the local business and economy in driving the city forward through investment, even in tough times.

“Where other cities across the UK are seeing no new development in many sectors, with the exception of the thriving student housing sectors, Birmingham continues to move forwards with development across all sectors, albeit with the previously active residential and office sectors more muted.

“The lack of any new office development looking ahead is not going to change until demand picks up and with Birmingham this year seeing some of the lowest take up figures for several years, this is likely to be two to three years off.”

Looking ahead, the 2012 survey shows that student housing schemes and education projects are still likely to be the most active sectors – nationally and regionally – due to a drive by universities to attract fee paying students.


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