Building recovering in the North, says Simon Hamilton

Minister for Finance welcomes figures showing 6 per cent increase in new work

 Minister for Finance Simon Hamilton said: “The construction industry is vitally important to the economy in Northern Ireland, employing nearly 60,000 people.” Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Minister for Finance Simon Hamilton said: “The construction industry is vitally important to the economy in Northern Ireland, employing nearly 60,000 people.” Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

 

Positive signs of growth suggest the local building trade is recovering, the North’s Minister of Finance Simon Hamilton has said as he welcomed statistics that show there had been a 6 per cent increase in new work.

The latest edition of the Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin shows that in the last three months of 2014 the local construction sector reported an overall increase of 3.9 per cent, the highest level of growth on record for almost two years.

Mr Hamilton said the latest figures were “very encouraging” and signalled an important step in the recovery of the sector.

New work

Mr Hamilton said the latest figures, produced by the Department of Finance, highlighted that new work accounted for 6 per cent of growth The evidence of this was the new building that was under way in both the housing and commercial sector in the North.

The Minister said: “Construction of new houses accounts for the sharpest increase, 8.9 per cent, while infrastructure building is up by 3.6 per cent. This is welcome news not only for the construction industry but also for those wanting to buy a house.

Infrastructure projects

One local firm illustrated why some construction firms in the North appear to be returning to pre-property crash form as it announced details of its latest contract win.

Graham has won a £1.7 million contract from Belfast Harbour to deliver an office fit-out for two floors at its City Quays 1 office building.