Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Construction sector bouncing back in Northern Ireland

SINCE the start of last summer there has been a tentative wave of positivity in the industry. It is reassuring that today's official figures back up that sentiment.

After five torrid years, today's figures provide the strongest sign yet that the decline in construction output in Northern Ireland has finally come to an end. We will need a few more quarters of growth to say that for certain, but with encouraging reports already in for the final quarter of 2013 and positive soundings on workload in 2014, it is fair to say that construction is bouncing back. Of course, with output having fallen so far we have a long journey back to normal levels of activity.

Delivery of public capital construction projects like schools, hospitals, stadiums, social housing, roads and water infrastructure, will be key to supporting the economic recovery in 2014.

The Chancellor has consistently boosted capital investment in recent years and Northern Ireland is benefiting as a result. There is over £1.5bn of capital funding available to the Northern Ireland Executive in 2014-15. The challenge for our ministers is to ensure that these projects get started on the ground without delay and the money is spent.

Private house-building will also play its part in driving economic growth this year. The local housing market is slowly warming up and we are hopeful that the introduction of the Help to Buy scheme will accelerate the recovery.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Comment

More

Company Profiles

More

Help & Advice

More

People on the move

More