Housing projects propel Wates to top of the league

Wates rose 13 places to the top of the contractors’ league table in March by securing £418m worth of contracts from a total of 14 projects, including two major housing deals.

According to data gathered by construction intelligence provider Glenigan, one big factor behind Wates topping the table is a £100m contract to build more than 300 homes in Wembley, London, for Brent Council.

In addition, the group signed another contract with Brent on the £91.2m Ujima House apartment scheme in Wembley.

Second-placed Bowmer & Kirkland bagged four projects in March worth £251m in total, thanks largely to a £180m deal for Newcastle’s largest office scheme at Pilgrim Street North, which will host 6,500 workers in 63,000 square metres of office space.

Bowmer & Kirkland also won public-sector projects up to £30m that include new build, refurbishment and minor works for the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunals Services, HM Prison and Probation Service, the Legal Aid Agency and the Home Office.

Merit meanwhile took third place despite gaining only a single project in March.

Its most recent win is for a £150m clinical biomarker laboratory project in Oxfordshire, where Merit is set to build one of the two buildings that will make up the new Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre at Harwell Campus.

The Northumberland-based construction company has a place on the £1.6bn NHS Shared Business Services Modular Buildings Framework. Merit is also already building a £30m hospital in Berwick for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust in a project set to create hundreds of new jobs.

McLaren took second place in February but it slipped to 10th the following month, even though it won a £94m deal on the Angel Square scheme in Islington for Tishman Speyer.

Refurbishment work on the shell and core of the Angel Square building is set to start in June. The project will see an uplift in the amount of office floorspace from the current 14,500 square metres to 21,700 square metres, via a mix of refurbishment and new build.

Top of the clients league was the Department of Health with 32 jobs worth a total of £225m, ahead of Brent council with the two Wates deals (see above).

Top contractors – March 2023
Contractor Deals Civils (£m) Buildings (£m) Total (£m)
Wates 14 4.0 414.5 418.5
Bowmer & Kirkland 4 0.0 251.0 251.0
Merit 1 0.0 150.0 150.0
Galliford Try 15 6.6 137.1 143.7
Morgan Sindall 36 0.0 141.4 141.4
Glencar 3 0.0 128.0 128.0
ISG 7 0.0 121.9 121.9
VolkerWessels 3 0.0 106.7 106.7
Durkan 1 0.0 100.0 100.0
McLaren 2 0.0 96.5 96.5
Mace 3 0.0 87.8 87.8

Regional leaders

Mace topped the London league for the period from April 2022 to March 2023 by winning 20 projects worth a total of £1.59bn.

Morgan Sindall dominated the volume of contract wins with 132 across the capital and it is the only contractor working across civils and building projects, with a combined value of £750m.

McLaughlin & Harvey topped the Scottish league tables with a total value of £336m from only 9 projects from April 2022 to March 2023.

Kier was the top contractor in the South West, where it won £919m of work across 38 projects, such as Aerospace Bristol and a new gym for Cheltenham Ladies College.

Glenigan reported that regional performance growth of residential construction was generally poor, with project-starts weakening across all areas of the UK during the three months leading up to March.


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