By Daniel Hunter
Some 119 public sector construction projects worth over £1.1billion are currently on hold despite the Government's election pledge to invest in infrastructure to stimulate the construction industry and the wider economy.
Statistics compiled by construction industry experts Glenigan show that infrastructure projects worth £1.119 billion are either in stasis or the Government is looking to sell the sites.
The Glenigan Construction Pipeline Analysis Report has identified stalled plans that include hospital developments, care homes, housing, schools and other community services across the UK.
A planned development in Preston worth £200 million is the most lucrative Government-driven project currently on hold.
The proposed development includes the construction of over 600 residential units, 9,000sqm of offices and industrial space, and community sports facilities, as well as extensive associated works such as landscaping and the building of access roads and sewerage systems.
Plans worth £116.6million for the redevelopment of Southend University Hospital are also on the shelf despite a vocal commitment to infrastructural development in the public sector from Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition partners in 2010.
The figures will make yet further uncomfortable reading for the Government ahead of the announcement of the Treasury's spending review for 2015-2016, the details of which are due to be revealed next Wednesday (June 26).
“Our research has identified a host of planned schemes on the Government’s drawing board that will strengthening the UK’s social and economic infrastructure," Glenigan Economics Director Allan Wilen commented.
"Political commitment and funding could quickly see many of these schemes on site. As a first step the Government could address the 119 projects in the pipeline, worth £1.1 billion, that are currently on hold.
"The areas in which these projects have been put on hold are at a significant social and economic disadvantage as a result.
"Each stalled project represents jobs that haven't been created and social shortcomings for communities, while the wider economic stimulus of the investments is lost."
Further projects on hold include the £64.9million development of a care village in Ringwood, Hampshire. The plans include the construction of 128 residential units along with a community centre, bowling green, sports pavilion and tennis court.
Plans worth £60million to build a new Justice Centre in Sunderland have stalled while £50million in Buckinghamshire NHS Trust new-build and development projects in High Wycombe are also on hold.
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