Unlisted UK government construction projects could be worth an additional £60bn to economy, says Glenigan

Out-Law News | 17 Mar 2014 | 11:59 am | 1 min. read

The UK government's 'pipeline' of construction projects in development could be worth £60 billion more to the economy than the latest list published by the Treasury, according to analysis by market data providers Glenigan.

A new report by the firm tracks nearly 2,100 central government projects with a combined value of £179bn (registration required); considerably more than the £119bn identified by the government in its National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), last published in December. Glenigan data has no government restrictions and includes projects that have not yet had final Treasury approval, which the firm said resulted in a "more comprehensive picture" of planned construction work to 2026.

However Allan Wilén, Glenigan's economics director, warned that with the next general election taking place next year, the coalition government was running out of time to release these projects to the next stage of development.

"Our analysis shows that there is an extensive potential pipeline of central government projects that can deliver real improvements to the UK's built environment and long-term economic growth," he said. "With the general election just a year away, the clock is ticking for the coalition if it wants to secure the political benefits for these projects."

Published alongside the Autumn Statement in December, the updated NIP set out the government's investment priorities up to 2030 including a list of 40 'Priority Schemes' in the energy, transport, flood defence, waste, water and communications sectors. The list included 646 projects in various stages of development, of which 291 were already under construction at the time of publication.

According to Glenigan, work has now begun on schemes worth a combined £61bn. The remaining projects, with a combined value of £118bn, are at earlier stages of development. Its report included £23bn worth of schemes scheduled to begin by the end of 2016 over and above the £50bn worth of schemes tracked in the NIP. However, these schemes may not yet have the necessary government approvals.

The largest share of the tracked projects belong to the Department for Transport (DfT), which has a pipeline worth £77bn or 43% of the total, according to Glenigan. HS2 Ltd, which is managing new national high speed rail link HS2, is the largest single client with a total project value of £43.6bn. The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) and Ministry of Defence also account for significant shares of the pipeline, at 9% and 6% of the total respectively.

Infrastructure is expected to be the largest single market sector from 2014 and 2016, accounting for 33% of projects by value, according to Glenigan. Housing projects account for 15% of the projects due to begin over the same period, in part due to major long-term regeneration schemes planned for parts of east London, the firm's research found.

Separately, Glenigan said that it was continuing to track more than 150 additional projects that have either been put on hold or where the site is to be sold on.