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Midlands' east-west divide underpins unstable region

The Midlands is arguably one of the most volatile regions in the country for construction starts.

The west of the region has fared better over the past three years. Though the west contracted in 2012, this was from a higher base than in the east.

It has also benefited from significant activity in Birmingham, most notably the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street railway station.

Meanwhile, the East Midlands has been recording significant peaks and troughs over the past few years, with next year set for another bounce back. Housing approvals are once again part of this strengthening and there is some activity in the industrial sector.

Industrial demand moves in

While industrial projects are typically lower in value than office and retail developments, the demand from such projects has stabilised in the South and is moving further up the country; similar trends are evident in the West Midlands.

Next year will see growth in the value of underlying project starts before some stabilisation in 2015, though taking into account all projects, including those worth more than £100m, starts are forecast to grow by nearly 10 per cent in 2015, fuelled by a number of infrastructure works being unlocked and road maintenance programmes getting under way.

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