January's £758.6m total is improvement on previous month, but a big drop from January 1998's £1.3bn.
Contractors' workload bounced back from a gloomy year-end in January, increasing £324.2m to £758.6m. However, the figure does not compare well with last year, when almost £1.3bn worth of work was procured.

Scottish contractor Morrison made a flying start to 1999, winning £155m of work in January and topping the monthly league. Its workload was buoyed by a contract on the £145m Great Northern Warehouse development in Manchester.

Costain also had a good month, moving from sixth to second place with four contracts worth £68.9m.

The Manchester scheme was good news for project architect Leslie Jones & Partners, which moved up six places in the architects' league.

Among clients, MEPC jumped five places to third in January, proving there is still life in the property market. J Sainsbury still heads the league, spending £333.4m on buildings in the year to 31 January.

How the tables work

To qualify for the tables, companies must have been identified on two or more projects fitting the criteria below in the past 12 months. Projects must:
  • be of precisely calculated or confirmed value
  • have reached the main contract stage
  • be valued at £1m or more
  • be in the UK.
Residential, civil engineering or overseas contracts are excluded. Student accommodation is included.