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Northern England set for marginal growth but gulf continues

From a value perspective, the North/South divide clearly remains in terms of project starts.

The value in the southern regions, even excluding London, set to be worth four times more than the North in 2015.

There is growth forecast for the North in 2014, though not on the scale of double-digit rises expected across most of the rest of the UK.

The North-east is forecast to see a higher rise than the North-west or Yorkshire & the Humber, but even by 2015 its starts will still be worth only half those in the North-west.

Housing and commercial drive

The latter has seen some benefit from the surge in private housing activity, likely to continue owing to some commercial demand in large cities such as Manchester, primarily in terms of office space.

Social housing work is also on the rise in the region, while offices and retail have seen some improvement in the North-east, coming off a low base.

Leeds was the scene of the only large-scale retail scheme opening in the UK in 2013, the Trinity Centre shopping centre.

Accordingly, the likelihood of further developments in this sub-sector of commercial in Yorkshire is slim. However, approvals for office schemes in Yorkshire during the first half of 2013 trebled.

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