Bulletin

Renewables and road building raise hope of infrastructure recovery

Infrastructure contracts in Britain surged in the first few months of the year, driven by renewable energy and road projects and raising hopes of a recovery in an industry hit by government spending cuts. According to figures by Barbour ABI, projects including the Haverigg wind farm in Cumbria and the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon boosted the value of infrastructure contracts to 1.9bn in May – a 71.7% increase on the same period in 2014. But despite work starting on the 600m Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea this month, hopes that the recovery will be sustained have been damped by the government's announcement that key rail modernisation projects will be postponed in the north. Sector confidence has also been hit by a decision to scrap subsidies for onshore wind power a year earlier than planned. Utilities was the single biggest sector within infrastructure during May, accounting for 81% of the total value of contracts awarded.

 

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