BUILDING BRITAIN 2020: How the construction industry across Britain and Ireland weathered the Covid-19 crisis

BUILDING BRITAIN 2020: How the construction industry across Britain and Ireland weathered the Covid-19 crisis

NO-ONE could have forecasted the year we have had.

As we stepped our toes into a chilly January and got back into our suits or onto our worksites after a festive Christmas break, we were not to know what lay ahead.

We could not have known that in just two short months we would find the toes of the nation positioned permanently indoors.

Nor that those sites would be closed, and those suits would hang lifeless in our wardrobes for an unthinkably long amount of time.

But March arrived and, with soaring rates of Covid-19 devastating the country and waging war on our National Health Service, we found ourselves in lockdown.

It was an unprecedented situation and a virus which has sadly touched the lives of far too many.

And so we stopped. Everything stopped. For a time.

But slowly, the world started to open up again – albeit with masks, hand gel and social distancing in place.

It started to poke it’s toe out of the door once more.

For some sectors the coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic – leisure, entertainment and pubs and restaurants couldn’t have faced a more devastating opponent and continue to do so.

The construction sector has fared much better, relatively speaking.

Quickly deemed a key industry – many projects have continued throughout the health crisis.
That said, there have been casualties. Jobs lost and contracts put off indefinitely.

The construction industry was behind only retail, accommodation, and manufacturing in the scale of furlough cash it claimed, totalling £3.2 billion at the end of July, according to HMRC data.

But then, July and August began to see a building bounce back.

And suddenly, with health and safety practices updated, Covid secure workplaces are the new norm and Britain is regrouping and rebuilding as it cautiously makes moves to overcome the impacts of the crisis.

There is still some way to go before the coronavirus is truly behind us, but there is certainly a brighter future ahead.

And from an extension at Great Ormond Street, to the data centres underpinning an exciting new 5G economy, to the future of London's central shopping district, Irish building firms - just as they have for many years - will be busy at work building it.

You can read about that and much more in our Building Britain 2020 magazine...

Building Britain 2020