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Growth in new work pushes local building sites to their busiest level in five years


Welcome news: Neal Taylor

Welcome news: Neal Taylor

Welcome news: Neal Taylor

Building sites in Northern Ireland were at their busiest for five years during the second quarter of 2017, according to a report.

The Construction Bulletin, which covers work done in Northern Ireland but does not include building projects carried out elsewhere, reported growth in construction output of 8.3% year-on-year.

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) report, work was also up 4% compared to the first quarter of the year.

The overall volume of work was the highest reported to the bulletin in five years.

Neal Taylor, audit partner at business advisors Grant Thornton Northern Ireland, said: "The latest Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin shows a welcome return to growth.

"All areas of work increased, resulting in the highest recorded volumes in any quarter during the past five years, which tallies with what our clients in the construction sector are telling us."

Nisra said the bulletin continued a general upward trend in output since late 2014.

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The surge in output during the second quarter compared to the first was down to an 8% growth in new work and a 2.4% increase in repair and maintenance.

Compared to the first quarter of the year, other work grew by 9.3%, while infrastructure output was up 8.7%. Housing output was also up by 3%.

The news came as Co Down-based construction giant Graham announced it had been appointed to build the new £57m maternity hospital at the Royal Victoria in Belfast.