Crossrail contributes to positive start to the year as work goes 48% up on previous month to £2.6bn

Bam Nuttall took top spot in January’s contractor league tables including civils, winning work on projects worth £500m.

After winning work on three projects in January, it managed to push Balfour Beatty into second place, despite Balfour winning 56 projects during the month.

Normal service was resumed when civils are excluded, as Balfour topped the table, winning 32 contracts worth a total of £167m, while Bam Nuttall did not even make the top 10, as its work is entirely civils based.

Second placed McLaren Construction had a strong month, despite not even making the top 30 in December. Its wins in January included a £20m Debenhams store in West Yorkshire, a £21m hotel for Frogmore Developments in London and a £16m school for the London Borough of Hackney.

The big winners overall were those awarded Crossrail work. In January, the BBMV joint venture, comprising Alpine BeMo Tunnelling, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and Vinci Construction, won the £235m Whitechapel and Liverpool Street station tunnels contract.

In a sign that January was a strong month, the top 30 contractors secured work worth £2.6bn, compared with £1.7bn in December 2010 - an increase of 48%.

Balfour Beatty once again topped the annual league table with contract wins of £3.9bn but Bam Construct and Bam Nuttall, if both firms were combined, would have taken second spot, with £2.8bn, ahead of third placed Kier.

The only change in the architects’ table was BDP dropping out of the top 10, replaced by Scott Brownrigg, which won £1bn of work. Again, Crossrail was the biggest client, with awards of £17.8bn over the past year.

Turner & Townsend consolidated its position at the top of the QS table, with £18bn, ahead of EC Harris on £9.8bn.

The league tables show a positive trend over the past two months, despite negative official construction output figures and bad weather. These wins may help the sector in 2011, but it will be another tough year.