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Government sitting on £114bn pipeline of more than 1,600 schemes

The government is sitting on a construction pipeline of 1,600 projects worth £114bn, according to a new report by construction industry analysts Glenigan.

Glenigan’s Central Government Construction Pipeline found that the combined value of planned schemes is worth almost five times more than the £19.2bn identified by the government in its own construction pipeline in May 2013.

It suggests the government could provide a major boost to construction activity over the next two years, with £51bn-worth of government projects scheduled to start on site by the end of 2014.

Over half of the projects by value are infrastructure schemes, in part a reflection of the size and length of time the schemes take to come to market – such as the £34bn High Speed 2 project, for example, which is not expected to start on site until 2017.

Projects worth £18bn are already on site, while most of the remaining schemes worth £96bn are scheduled to begin construction later this year and next year, according to Glenigan’s analysis.

The report was published in the same week that chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander was due to set out the government’s planned commitment to infrastructure projects over the next Parliament from 2015/16 to 2020/21.

The government revealed in May the value of projects in the government’s construction pipeline had fallen by half, or more than £20bn, in the previous 12 months.

It has not updated the pipeline since November 2012 and it is not expected to be refreshed again until November of this year.

Mr Alexander defended the lack of updates when quizzed by Construction News last month, insisting the government was “prioritising projects” and delivering as much as it could.

The Department for Transport has the largest construction pipeline by value, with 172 projects worth £54.4bn, according to Glenigan.

This includes High Speed 2, which will be the single biggest client with phased construction work worth £32.7bn over the next two decades.

It is followed by the Homes and Communities Agency, which has a £13.3bn pipeline spread across 86 projects, and the Ministry of Defence, which is set to spend £9bn on 101 projects.

Percentage value of planned project starts in 2013/14 by sector

Housing – 22%

Infrastructure – 18%

Community & amenity – 16%

Education – 14%

Health – 12%

Commercial & industrial – 11%

Utilities – 7%

Overall, the Department of Health is due to carry out the greatest number of projects, with 494 schemes in its pipeline worth a combined £8.2bn.

Almost a quarter of the Department of Health’s projects will be concentrated in London, and more than half will be in London, the South-east and the East of England.

In comparison, just 16 projects will be delivered in the East Midlands, 31 in the North-east and 34 in Yorkshire & the Humber.

Government construction pipeline by region

London: £48.4bn on 221 projects

West Midlands: £21.1bn on 136 projects

Scotland: £10.6bn on 133 projects

South-west: £8.9bn on 136 projects

South-east: £8bn on 234 projects

East of England: £3.7bn on 140 projects

Wales: £3.2bn on 86 projects

Yorkshire: £2.5bn on 151 projects

North-east: £2bn on 110 projects

North-west: £1.1bn on 175 projects

East Midlands: £1bn on 84 projects

Northern Ireland: £649m on 31 projects

Glenigan has also identified 119 projects that are currently on hold or where the site is due to be sold on.

The research company invests more than £3m per year and makes over a million research phone calls to provide detail on every construction project in the UK.

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