Business barometer Education continues to be construction’s lifeblood as workload picks up

Bam Construct has shot to the top of the contractors league table in February thanks to Somerset’s £600m Building Schools for the Future programme. The win was part of a larger run of success for the Dutch-owned group, whose civils arm, Bam Nuttall, picked up a £187m contract from Network Rail to build the Chiltern Railway, as well as winning a place on the Highways Agency managed motorways framework.

Carillion, in second spot, won two non-civils contracts totalling £468.8m. Both fell in the health sector, including a £451m PFI hospital in Bristol, and a £35.8m Lift contract in the same city.

Meanwhile, Kier followed its usual practice and hoovered up 43 contracts worth a total of £243.1m. The largest win was another BSF scheme, this time in Kent, where Kier secured £76m worth of work. It also picked up a £59m contract from Justice Support Services to design and build six police investigation centres in East Anglia.

Willmott Dixon, fourth in the table, won a £105.3m project to carry out housing repairs for Birmingham council, as well as a £23.9m job to revamp Harris academy for the London Borough of Bexley.

Total work won by firms rose 33% to £2.5bn, compared with £1.88bn in January. The average contract size increased to £6.9m from £4.9m the previous month.

The civils sector remained strong, with Costain posting big wins, including a £122m contract for Southern Water, and another as managing agent for the Highways Agency.

A number of colleges also handed out work, with Laing O’Rourke bagging a £23m job for the Coleg Morgannwg Rhondda Campus and Interserve taking £46m worth of work at Sandwell College in the West Midlands.

In the QS table Gardiner & Theobald took the number three spot from Davis Langdon. There was a change at the top of the architects table with Niall McLaughlin and Olympic Eton Manor designer Stanton Williams overtaking Foster + Partners.