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Summer lull leads to lack of new deals

Costain topped the August table with nearly a quarter of total work value in what turned out to be the leanest month so far in 2009 for the top 50

The summer lull meant August was the leanest month for the top 50 contractors so far in 2009.

The top contractors penned 203 deals with a total project value of £2.72 billion in August, according to the latest contract league tables from Glenigan.

It is only the second month in 2009 that the top 50’s collective haul dropped below £3bn.

The total did just eclipse the amount won in August 2008, £2 million up despite 15 fewer deals having been signed.

But last month’s total was heavily bolstered by a strong top 10 who collected £1.95bn between them, compared with £1.4bn last August.

Conversely contractors needed to bag at least £11.5m of work a year ago to make their mark on the August table while £7m was enough to make the top 50 in August this year.

Costain’s Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority win helped it to the top of the August league table with 23 per cent of the total top 50 amount.

Costain was initially appointed as the civil contractor for the job in April.

And last month the Maidenhead-based contractor officially banked the job, according to Glenigan.

The contract will see the design and build of a waste treatment facility capable of processing up to 1.5 million tonnes of municipal solid waste a year.

The annual contractors table shows Costain has enjoyed a fruitful past year as whole with only Balfour Beatty and Skanska having scooped more work.

Retail continues to be a tough place for contractors to operate in providing the top 10 with just under £1.3bn of work in the year to August 2009.

This compares to £1.7bn of health work, £2.6bn of commercial work and £5.1bn of education work over the past year.

True to form so far this year, councils, Government departments and health authorities dominate the top clients table as the public sector continues to provide the bulk of work coming through.

But despite that, just 100 deals were done with the top 50, the lowest since February, with the total value of the projects the lowest for 10 months.

It was an extremely quiet month for architects with the top 10 winning £303.6m of work – a fifth of the £1.5bn won the previous month.

Not even the top architect in August won enough to make the top 10 in July.