Yorkshire construction sector remains stable in Q1

The construction industry in Yorkshire is showing signs of improvement as companies at greater than average risk of insolvency has stabilised in the first couple of months of 2019, according to the latest research by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Having increased from 39.3% in February 2018 to 46.6% in December 2018, the proportion of construction businesses at elevated risk of insolvency in the next 12 months had levelled out to 47% by the start of February 2019, which is slightly above the UK-wide figure of 45.6%.

In Yorkshire, there are currently over 26,000 active construction businesses, with over 12,000 of these considered to be at greater than usual risk of insolvency.

Overall, Yorkshire businesses again reported a strong month with none of the sectors monitored by R3 seeing an increase of more than 2% between January and February of businesses at greater than usual risk.

In the region, there was a rise of 0.4% of businesses at higher than normal risk across all sectors, in line with the previous six months’ performance which saw either falls in risk or rises of less than 1%.

Overall, 44.6% of Yorkshire-registered companies were at elevated insolvency risk in February 2019 (UK: 43%).

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, said: “The first quarter of the year is often a difficult period for many sectors and it’s reassuring to see Yorkshire’s construction businesses continuing to maintain stable levels of risk, particularly when compared with the tough start they experienced in early 2018.

“Despite continuing political uncertainty, there is lots of activity in the region with cranes dotting the region’s city skylines. We’ve seen plenty of new commercial developments get underway in 2018, particularly in the education sector, including the major construction at Quarry Hill of the new Leeds City College Campus.

“It’s encouraging not only to see Yorkshire continuing to invest in the future, but also to know that so many other businesses in the region will benefit from the positive knock-on effect of the construction sector’s resilience.”