Community and amenity projects are set for a much-needed boost in 2024

Latest News Fri, Dec 22, 2023 7:50 AM

After a 61% leap in 2022 as the construction industry emerged from the worst of the pandemic, the underlying value of community & amenity project starts (work valued at £100 million or below), sagged this year.

However, most of this lost ground will be made up in 2024, when Glenigan is forecasting underlying project starts to rise by 8% as construction begins on more than £1.5 billion worth of work in the sector.

Community and amenity developments expected to start on site in this period range from a £16 million community centre at Bransbury in Portsmouth (Project ID: 23232752) to a £84.5 million library (pictured) on Oxford Road in Manchester (Project ID: 23359317). Construction is anticipated to begin next summer on both schemes.

Many town centre regeneration projects are among the schemes set to lift the workload in this sector in the coming year. Many of these plans are benefitting from funds in the third round of the government’s Levelling Up programme (Project ID: 23085448)

A proposal to regenerate central Billingham known as Stockton North-Billingham Town Centre has been granted £20 million in Levelling Up funding (Project ID: 23369075). Construction work should commence in the summer of 2024.

A plan to regenerate Filwood Broadway in Bristol by the city council was awarded £14.5 million in Levelling Up funds. This funding is supporting two schemes.

A planning application is expected to be submitted in the spring for a £10 million community centre (Project ID: 23331869), while a £6.7 million package of public realm improvements on the Broadway should start this summer (Project ID: 23034989).

Some of the community and amenity proposals that did not secure Levelling Up funding are continuing despite their rejection.

In Sefton, for example, a bid for £10.3 million in Levelling Up money was rejected but the council is ploughing on with the first phase of a regeneration plan set to provide a new library (Project ID: 23310214). A start on site could be made by this June if the council realises its plans.

Proposals for other community-related schemes are also emerging. A decision on North Yorkshire Council’s planning application to build a £21 community building at Catterick in Northallerton is due on January 16 (Project ID: 21460610). If successful, construction could begin in October next year.

In the short term, the outlook for this sector remains positive, but further out, work is expected to fall away due to the impact of a general election, which is due within the next 12 months.

Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén comments: “Public sector spending restraint will limit growth in government-funded projects during 2025 as government programmes are reviewed post-election.”

Glenigan is forecasting a 10% drop in the underlying value of community and amenity projects starts in 2025, but for the year ahead the sector looks set to provide a steady flow of opportunities.

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