Construction, vaccines, and design competitions

Construction, vaccines, and design competitions


Construction continues on its upward tick trajectory according to the latest CPA scenarios, defying the rest of the economy which has been shaken by a lockdown over the winter and entered the ‘W’ shaped recovery from COVID-19.

Q1 is likely to continue to be difficult, given continuing restrictions. However, it was pleasant to hear some optimism, with predictions that Q2 we will see ‘a sharp recovery in consumer confidence and spending as easing restrictions and the reopening of non-essential retail and leisure is boosted by positive news on vaccines.

More than 6.6 million people have had a first dose of the vaccine, including 80% of those aged over 80 years old as of 25 January 2021, and despite fears, it has been reported the vaccines have held their efficacy against the UK strain which arose in December. Though the South African strain is causing concerns, with resulting travel bans.

Meanwhile, in the market, there is potential for growth with households holding an additional accumulated savings of £125.5 billion compared with 2019. Without the opportunity to shop or travel, a lot of this continues to be directed to homes, which, for now at least is helping keep demand strong in the industry.

However, the future of the market will be strongly influenced by the decisions the Government makes in the next Budget event in March. We will work with our partners across the industry to ensure construction gets the right support, both fiscally and from a regulatory perspective with construction products under the microscope.

On a positive note, I’m very glad to highlight that come Monday the Riverside Sunderland University Design Challenge will be launched. This competition is highlighting timber to a future generation of architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors, and other construction professionals. Many thanks to all who have got behind it; and watch out for more info.

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