Construction industry of the United Kingdom

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The construction industry of the United Kingdom contributed gross value of £64,747 million to the UK economy in 2004.[1] The industry employed around 2.2 million people in the fourth quarter of 2009.[2] There were around 194,000 construction firms in Great Britain in 2009, of which around 75,400 employed just one person and 62 employed over 1,200 people.[2] In 2009 the construction industry in Great Britain received total orders of around £18.7 billion from the private sector and £15.1 billion from the public sector.[2] While manufacturing in the United Kingdom shrank as a proportion of the economy between 1948 and 2013, replaced by the service sector, construction remained relatively flat at about 6% of the economy.[3] In 2013 the government unveiled the Construction 2025 industrial strategy.[4]

As of 2012, the largest construction project in the UK is Crossrail. Due to open in 2018, it will be a new railway line running east to west through London and into the surrounding counties with a branch to Heathrow Airport.[5] The main feature of the project is construction of 42 km (26 mi) of new tunnels connecting stations in central London. It is also Europe's biggest construction project with a £15 billion projected cost.[6][7]

Prospective major construction projects include either expansion of London Heathrow Airport or expansion of Gatwick Airport, construction of the High Speed 2 rail line between London and the West Midlands, and construction of the Crossrail 2 rail line in London.

The industry was pushed into a period of turmoil following the Brexit vote in June 2016. Fears of a lack of EU labour post-Brexit were cited as a key reason for the uncertainty.[8][9][10] Despite this, the industry has been performing better than expected in the months since, leading to cautious optimism in some quarters.[11][12]

Remains of an old Railway Bridge, Ballybrannon Road, Armagh awaiting to be reconstructed if the line from Portadown to Armagh is reopened.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "United Kingdom National Accounts The Blue Book 2006" (PDF). 22 August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "Construction Statistics Annual 2010" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Seven things you need to know about the UK economy". The Guardian. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Construction 2025" (PDF). HM Government. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Crossrail Regional Map". Crossrail Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Crossrail's giant tunnelling machines unveiled". BBC News. 2 January 2012.
  7. ^ Leftly, Mark (29 August 2010). "Crossrail delayed to save £1bn". The Independent on Sunday. London.
  8. ^ correspondent, Phillip Inman Economics (4 July 2016). "Construction becomes first casualty of Brexit as housebuilders get jitters". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Brexit vote sparks biggest plunge in construction since the financial crisis". The Independent. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  10. ^ ""Brexit could worsen construction skills crisis"". ITV News. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Construction activity hit a four-month high in April". The Independent. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Construction & Manufacturing enjoy growth in uncertain times | Resapol". Resapol. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.