After eight months of continuous growth, 2013 ended on a high for the UK construction industry, as the Markit/CIPS Construction PMI survey put the sector ahead of expectations for the month of December, and saw construction companies in good stead for 2014.
Housing has been the main contributor to the rising prospects of the construction sector and the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme has been a major contributor. However, programmes like this are restricted by funding caps – the Help to Buy Scheme is to be capped at £12bn and is unlikely to last until March 2016 as it was initially planned to. This makes it ever more important for businesses in the construction industry to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way – the floods proving to be one of them.
The floods of the Winter 2014 wreaked havoc in the West Country. The efforts of the emergency services are being supported by the plant tool hire companies, which are equipping local residents and businesses with the essential equipment needed to salvage their properties and commercial premises. Pumps are being used in abundance along with dehumidifiers, heaters, vacuums and generators in an attempt to lessen the floods’ devastating effects.
Companies including Kier, JCB, Osborne, HSS Hire, Andrews Sykes and Brandon Tool Hire have been making their services available to local communities in an effort to broaden the flood relief effort. Andrews Sykes has been supplying dehumidifiers and building dryers across the country and has proven to have sufficient supplies to keep up with the heightened demand. Both Brandon Hire and HSS Hire offer an emergency flood call out service and, as well as Sykes, are providing residents and commercial businesses with all the flood assistance equipment they need.
It comes as no surprise that the Government has been forced to announce 42 new flood defence schemes for 2014-15 in an attempt to protect approximately 42,000 households. That however is a drop in the ocean compared to the reported 2.4 million properties in England alone which are at risk of flooding with half a million of those marked as at significant risk. If the majority of these households remain vulnerable to the flood risk, the UK construction industry will be set to flourish as the demand for plant tool hire equipment continues to soar.
The floods have negatively impacted upon the transport and farming industries in particular, causing concern for the derailment of the economic recovery. However, the construction industry looks set to bask in its positive outlook for a while longer as it benefits not only from the flood relief effort but also the rebuild of these ravaged regions once they commence.