Major construction projects in the UK

Despite pervading uncertainty from Brexit, the UK’s construction industry shows no signs of slowing down. Cranes fill the skies of most of the major cities across the UK and projects from luxury apartments to hotels have been cropping up regularly over the past few months.

Deloitte’s crane survey analyses the health of construction in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Northern Ireland. Using these surveys, we’ve identified some of the largest projects happening right now, how they’ve been progressing, what equipment they’re working with and the big budgets they’re working to.

London

In London, the decommissioned Battersea Power Station is under development. The iconic silhouette on London’s skyline is being transformed into a new hub on the edge of the Thames, as the original building that forms the centre becomes shops, restaurants and offices. Elsewhere on the development, luxury apartments will house professionals working in the area and beyond.

The entire project makes up 8 million sq ft and will play host to the new Apple headquarters over 46,000m² of its office space when they make the move in 2021. The developers have a total of £13.7 billion to work with and other design features include a glass viewing deck built into an elevator and a public park, which is set to open this year.

In September 2018, Terex CTL 1600 was installed on the site. This is one of Europe’s largest tower cranes and stands at almost 90m. In addition to the 17 cranes operating on site, original heritage cranes that were on the site have been sent down the Thames for regeneration, they will return to the end of the jetty they originally stood on by the end of the year.

Manchester

Manchester has been described as one of Europe’s ‘fastest growing cities’ by Deloitte, and it’s clear from the mass of cranes across the city skyline. The Deloitte Crane Survey details 41 developments which includes over 11,000 residential units.

Angel Meadow Park on the edge of the city centre neighbours the distinctive Co-Operative HQ at One Angel Square. Now, new developments will surround the park and comprise four buildings, including what will be the tallest building in the city.

With a budget of £200 million, Angel Meadow will include 756 homes and over 6,500 sq ft of commercial space. Each of the four buildings will surround the park, adding even more to the burgeoning Manchester skyline.

Building on two of the towers, the Gate and the Stile began last year and is expected to be finished by 2021.

Birmingham

A regeneration of the city centre is underway in Birmingham, with the largest portion being named the Paradise Project. In total, this project could comprise of more than 10 new buildings around the city, with No.1 & No.2 Chamberlain Square already under development.

Developers have been working to a budget of £700 million but late last year, Birmingham council announced that they would be halting work on the project until they could raise a further £50 million to get it started again. This was put down to infrastructure and demolition costs totally much more than originally thought.

Tower crane 4 on the site is one of the largest cranes operating in Birmingham and stands as high as 20 double-decker buses.

Leeds

The South Bank Project is Leeds’ biggest construction project in the city for more than 100 years. The plans for regeneration cover a staggering 27 million sq ft of land in total, including a 40 storey skyscraper and revamped train station.

Current developments about to break ground include 700,000 sq ft at the Brewery site and 400,000 sq ft at Holbeck. The budget for these projects currently stands at £350 million.

While work is only just getting started, this development will dramatically transform Leeds just in time for HS2 to roll in at their new state of the art train station.

Belfast

Claiming its iconic ship building heritage, Belfast has dedicated huge amounts of money to the creation of the Titanic Quarter. This 8 million sq ft project has become host to more than 18,000 people at work, living or studying after almost 10 years of construction.

The Titanic Museum and Titanic Hotel occupy space alongside the campus of Belfast Metropolitan College and major names like Citibank, Audi and the Northern Ireland Science Park.

While there are no active projects presently, there are plans to continue development, so cranes will no doubt soon be hitting the sky. Phase two is predicted to reach completion in 2020 and developers believe that the project will fully come to an end around 2034.

Having shifted Belfast’s centre of gravity further from the centre, this project will no doubt play a major role in Belfast’s future.

This article was written by Damon Culbert from Lift Mini Cranes, mini and spider crane rental nationwide.

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