Sign-ups to database of preferred contractors rises 13% as firms vye for public work

Constructionline, the government register for pre-qualified suppliers, has reported a surge in the number of contractors and clients signing up to it, as contractors compete for public sector work.

The service, which is the preferred supplier database for much of the industry's public sector client base, saw an increase of registered users jump by 13% over the year, to a total of 16,700.

The number of new clients adopting the service, including the NHS, local authorities and police forces, also soared by 25% in the same period, taking the total to 1,900.

Meanwhile, Constructionline noted a fall in the number of new orders from privately-funded sectors.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics in January showed a fall in private commercial and private industrial orders, which dropped by 22% and 27% respectively in the same period.

Meanwhile, in the 12 months to November 2008, public non-housing orders - which include schools, hospitals and prisons - rose by 31% compared with the same period last year.

Philip Prince, Sales and Marketing Director of Constructionline, said: “Many contractors have been switching their focus to the public sector as demand from private commercial and industrial sectors has softened.”