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20 September 2017

MPA Data Highlights Economic Divide between London and Rest of GB

MPA analysis has highlighted the massive differences in development and construction  recovery since the recession between London and the rest of Great Britain. The key difference is not just North compared to South, but London compared with everywhere else.

MPA collects hard data on sales of mineral products used in construction and other industries. These sales volumes provide a clear indication of the levels of construction and development work underway throughout Great Britain and therefore evidence of economic recovery. Ready –mixed concrete in particular is a ubiquitous material used in all sectors of construction and is typically used within eight miles of where it is produced, therefore providing a good indicator of local construction and development activity.

MPA data indicates that comparing pre-recession 2007 and 2016 sales volumes, the London market increased by over 50%. However, in every other part of Britain, sales volumes in 2016 remained at least 20% below 2007 levels.

Sales Volumes of Ready Mixed Concrete 2016 compared to 2007 recorded by MPA are  

North East  -38%
North West  -42%
Yorkshire and Humberside -43%
East Midlands -27%
West Midlands -20%
East of England -33%
London  +53%
South East  -22%
South West -43%
Scotland -23%
Wales -54%

MPA Chief Executive, Nigel Jackson commented:

"These results illustrate a staggering difference in demand between London and the rest of Great Britain. They are not based on survey responses or complex economic indicators. They show actual use of a key construction material required to provide our housing, transport networks, commercial and industrial development and the wider built environment. We hear a lot of well-meaning talk about the Northern Powerhouse and Industrial Strategy but our data gives an indication of how much more needs to be done to provide the housing and infrastructure needed across most of Great Britain. The sharp increase in ready-mixed concrete demand in London reflects the housing, commercial and infrastructure investment linked to economic growth and population pressures. But while London may be unique as a global city there is no disguising the reality that years of policy discussions and initiatives have failed to benefit the rest of Britain. Our figures perhaps provide the concrete evidence of this. We need a lot less talk and a lot more action to encourage faster investment".


Notes for Editors

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the affiliation of British Precast, the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), Eurobitume, QPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, it has a growing membership of 480 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement production, 90% of aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. Each year the industry supplies £20 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy and is the largest supplier to the construction industry, which has annual output valued at £144billion. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.

For further information, please contact Robina Longworth at; tel: 020 7963 8017.

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