The global pandemic shook the foundations of the status quo. Everything we once thought was, suddenly wasn’t anymore. These completely unprecedented events will go down in history, and the aftermath (both good and bad) will be felt by all for years to come. With industry insight and bona fide experience, we wanted to give a little update on how Covid19 impacted the UK construction industry. Read on for our breakdown.
Multiple lockdowns saw businesses nationwide shut their doors and the movement of hashtag working from home was born, but so was another genre of worker: the key worker. From healthcare to postal services, all essential industries carried on operating “as normal”. Although arguably not all construction works could be classified as “essential”, in a bid to help the economy, construction was given the green light to carry on also.
Not only could all existing works continue, many saw this as an opportunity to start new projects. Think how hot the real estate market was during the pandemic for example. Those who suffered financially had to downsize, many when faced with the prospect of being confined to their house wanted to upgrade, especially those wanting larger gardens. Even the spike in separations and divorces, and those needing to isolate from their former living companions, saw people relocating.
The demand was certainly there, and according to government statistics in the first three months of 2021 nearly 50,000 new homes were built. Reportedly the highest figure in over 20 years, and of course all these new homes needed new utility connections. That’s where we came in, reporting our best financial year 2020/21 during the pandemic.
It wasn’t just the domestic market either, with commercial construction also on the rise. Rapid test centres, vaccination centres and Nightingale hospitals all required a temporary utility supply. The spike in online shopping saw multiple new warehouses and logistics facilities open, again all needing a new utility connection. Many businesses saw the forcibly quiet period of lockdown as an opportunity to renovate, reinvest and rebuild.
In both domestic and commercial sectors, overall new construction work grew by a record 11.1% from April 2020 to May 2020, adding an impressive £553 million to the economy in a single month. Please visit the government Office of National Statistics for more UK construction industry statistics 2021 which will support the role of construction industry in economic development.
As is always the case, it wasn’t all good news. Issues facing the construction industry through the impact of Covid19 included HR issues in construction industry, such as worker absenteeism with many classed as vulnerable, or living with someone vulnerable, having to take furlough leave. Supply issues were also extremely pertinent, with major international shipping ports closing for weeks on end, delaying the shipment of products and raw materials.
What is the future of construction industry? Unfortunately, with so multiple variables to consider it’s difficult to predict with any certainty. We can however expect continuing supply issues, with resource management in construction industry growing in importance to mirror this. Thanks to the pandemic, a greater importance has also been placed on health and safety hazards in the construction industry, which is a win for unions. We at Crown Energy have been thankful for the role of government in construction industry who have allowed us to continue throughout the national lockdowns and contribute to the economic revival of the UK post Covid19 and we hope that the government will continue to support the construction industry.
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*All statistical information is derived from government websites