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Government construction pipeline drops by £20bn

The amount of work in the government’s construction pipeline has fallen by half in the last 12 months - equivalent to £20 billion of projects

Latest figures also show the pipeline for the next four to five years is down 36 per cent in the last six months, from £30.3 billion in November 2012 to £19.2 billion for May 2013.

In May 2012 the pipeline stood at £40 billion and 629 projects.

However a Cabinet Office spokeswoman said there was still more than 800 contracts up for grabs.

Cabinet Office minister Chloë Smith said publishing up-to-date information in one central place about future government needs ‘helps UK businesses to plan, get ahead of the game and grow’.

‘We know that being transparent about opportunities available in the public sector is exactly what suppliers need to start looking at their business, investing and boosting their capabilities,’ she said.

But while the Cabinet Office has published the overall figure, a spokeswoman said they could not yet provide the construction breakdown, either by sector or by year, as they have done previously.

The spokeswoman said work had not been added to the construction pipeline due to the impending spending review and that it has also fluctuated in value due to contracts having been awarded.

She said construction was the only sector that hadn’t had additions to its pipeline due to its size and that it would form a big part of the spending review announcement.

However, this still leaves questions over the size of the drop, particularly the £20bn annual decline.

The spokeswoman was also unable to confirm if the construction pipeline will be refreshed before the next update is due in November as the government will wait on each department to provide updated project data after the spending review on 26 June.

The overall pipeline data includes general information about what government will be buying over the next four to five years across a range of industry sectors, including construction.

The total value across the whole of the government pipelines is now nearly £79bn.

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