Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Data reveals how the civils sector changed last year

Infrastructure output grew marginally last year, official figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics released data showing £15.27bn of new build infrastructure work was done across the public and private sectors in 2014.

This was up from £15.16bn the year before, but remained below the 2011 peak of £15.33bn.

Public sector spending on new infrastructure grew 5% in 2014 to £5.9bn – its highest level this century.

This outweighed a 2% drop in private sector new infrastructure work in 2014 to £9.4bn, its lowest level since 2010.  

The volume of electricity work soared by almost half in 2014 to £5.4bn, more than was done in 2011 and 2012 combined.

Highways work also grew, by a fifth, to £3.1bn, while harbours output was up 39% to £834M.

The value of gas work was up by £1M to £379M but five infrastructure subsectors saw declining values last year.

Rail output dropped 27% to £3.4bn. Water work slipped 41% to £932M, and the sewerage sector lost 30% at £384M.

Airport opportunities declined 13% to £675M and communications work was down 59% to £127m.

More than half of new build infrastructure work in 2014 was delivered by civil engineering firms, according to the data. Buildings contractors took more than £2bn of the sector’s new build work, however, and specialised companies a further £4.6bn.

On the other hand, less than half of new work carried out by civils firms was classified as infrastructure. Civils contractors pocketed £3.9bn of housing work, £3.3bn of commercial contracts and £1.5bn of other public sector opportunities.

When it comes to repair and maintenance work, 71% of the pie was eaten civil engineering companies.

In the roads sector, firms with between 35 and 59 employees did the most work, bagging £804M last year.

On the railways, however, firms with just 2 or 3 members of staff secured £744M, making this the most profitable size.

The number of people employed by civil engineering firms registered in the UK dropped by 0.9% to 184,200 between the third quarter of 2013 and the same quarter in 2014, according to the data.

This was despite the number of civils firms growing by less than 1% over the same period to 19,436.

Economists this week said the size of the infrastructure sector could double within five years.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.