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NCE Live News Updates Friday 13 September: Delight as new orders soar

ONS data shows surge in construction orders; meanwhile Network Rail’s plans for Rochester Station approved.

3.30pm: More glee at the latest new orders data – this time from the Construction Products Association.

Data from the Office for National Statistics earlier showed that the volume of new orders was almost a third higher in the second quarter of 2013 than in the same period the previous year (see stories below).

CPA economics director Noble Francis noted that this took the total orders in the year to 30 June 2013 a significant 12 per cent higher than in the previous 12 months.

Even more promisingly for civil engineers, infrastructure orders were up 19.8 per cent over the same period.

Francis said: “The latest figures on new orders show that the £111bn construction industry is ready to enjoy a sustained recovery over the next two years.”


12pm: Some joyous reaction to the output figures, with consultancy Turner & Townsend seizing on the positive new orders data.

The Office for National Statistics today revealed that there was a 2.2 per cent hike in construction output in July.

It also said the volume of new orders was 32.8 per cent higher in the second quarter of 2013 than in the same period the previous year.

Turner & Townsend UK managing director Steve McGuckin declared: “The construction industry is running, not walking, back to health. Output is creeping up, but the pipeline is racing ahead.”

He added that the industry was “more upbeat than it has been for a few years”.


11am: Construction output has grown, official data has revealed.

The Office for National Statistics said there was 2.2 per cent more activity in July than in June..

Output was also higher in July 2013 than in the same month the previous year.

Seasonally adjusted output was at its highest point for nine months, giving real hope that the darkest days of the downturn are behind the sector.


10.45am: Consultancy Turner & Townsend has secured work on the project to introduce trams to Birmingham.

The firm will project manage the extension of the Midland Metro to Wolverhampton’s bus and rail stations.

It will also have a role on other elements of the project, including the extension of the existing terminus at Snow Hill.

Turner & Townsend director Robert Flavell said: “We are delighted to be involved in projects at both ends of the Metro Line.

“Extending the tram in Wolverhampton would support significant regeneration, offering new employment opportunities and a major stimulus to the Black Country.“ 


10am: Scotland could be set for a procurement shake-up.

A law requiring public bodies to consider impact on local communities when making procurement decisions has been passed to the Scottish Parliament.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the Procurement Reform Bill would make it easier for new and small businesses to win government work.

The Scottish Building Federation said construction firms in the country would benefit if the law was passed.

“With a growing pipeline of publicly funded infrastructure projects planned over the years ahead, this Bill offers the potential to transform the efficiency of public procurement ,” said managing director Vaughan Hart.


9.30: First up this morning, a new train station is to be built in Kent.

Medway Council last night approved Network Rail’s plans to build the new Rochester Station at Corporation Street to help meet increasing demand for rail services to and from the town.

The station will have three platforms, all of which will be able to accommodate 12-carriage trains, as well as other facilities. It should be completed by the end of 2015.

Network Rail is investing £135M in Kent as passenger demand grows.

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