Refurb specialists are confident about prospects in the sector despite Government output figures suggesting a construction recession

 Darren Walker, bid proposal director at integrated property services group Styles&Wood group plc, said: “The latest ONS figures for construction output will come as little surprise to those who have been following the Markit/CIPS PMI for the sector over the past few months. However, the refurbishment and fit-out sectors are proving more resilient within the broader industry. The consequence of limited supply compared to demand in the commercial sector is continuing to bring forward opportunities. Growth is expected to continue as those with large estates continue to have to refresh and renew assets.

“There’s a particularly good appetite for the conversion of commercial buildings. Those with legacy Grade B stock are realising that the quantity of new modern schemes coming to market leaves their schemes vulnerable to low occupier interest. The continuing demand for housing in major urban centres is also providing a requirement for residential space which is, in turn, driving forward reconfiguration of buildings into living accommodation.  The recovery of the leisure and tourism market is increasing the demand for hotel accommodation and the conversion of Grade B stock provides hotel owners and operators with an alternative to new build.

“Early indicators suggest that there is set to be an increase in investment across the shopping-centre retail and banking sectors, after relatively static growth over the past 12 months.

“Large-scale opportunities in the healthcare and education sectors are also coming to the fore through projects in private healthcare work and on national frameworks for education; universities across the country are maintaining investment in redevelopment projects, continuing to offer a strong pipeline of potential work into the sector.”