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Brick manufacturers ramp up production

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UK brick production has risen to meet the growing demand for the construction material

According to the latest Office for National Statistics figures, production has risen by seven per cent with manufacturers creating one billion bricks in the last six months.

The rise in production means stock levels have risen by 33 per cent hitting 450 million.

At the height of the brick shortage in October last year stocks of bricks dwindled to around 320 million – a massive drop from 2009 when stores numbered a healthy 1 billion.

The increased production means continued difficulties getting hold of bricks needed for projects reported by architects earlier this year appear to be easing. However, practices are still looking abroad for faster and more reliable deliveries.

Matthew Ollier of Manchester-based practice Ollier Smurthwaite, said: ‘Production has increased as some UK bricks that were on a 45-week delivery time are now on a 13-week delivery time. This is still a lot longer than continental bricks.

‘We are still sourcing bricks from the continent as similar bricks are on three weeks delivery. It’s the popular UK bricks that are on longer delivery times. Some of the less popular UK bricks are available on four week delivery.’

Simon Hay, CEO of the Brick Development Association, commented: ‘The brick industry has reacted swiftly in order to meet new demand by increasing brick production by nearly 7 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2014, a tremendous effort by a capital-intensive industry.

‘For the first time since the economic downturn, production is approaching 1 billion bricks in a six month period. Stock levels have also grown to nearly 450 million, a 33 per cent rise in comparison to the stock levels at the first half of 2014, meaning choice in brick is now possible with reasonable lead in times.’

 

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