Positive start to the new year

2023 was a challenging year for the housebuilding industry, with rising interest rates, political uncertainty, increased energy bills and building material costs, and a decline in construction activities towards the end of the year.

According to Barbour ABI, spending on construction projects in the UK fell 11.1bn to £69.2bn in 2023, a 14% reduction from a record £80.4bn in 2022.

Sectors hit by the cost-of-living crisis were particularly affected with residential housebuilding down 14%, commercial developments down 15% and Hotel and Leisure falling dramatically by 29%.positive start to 2024

Housing applications are now 21% down on pre-pandemic levels and UK brick deliveries in 2023 were 29.5% lower than a year ago and 30.4% lower than in 2019 according to the construction products association.

Perhaps the silver lining for our industry came in the form of the Government’s Timber in construction roadmap, released in December, which reiterates the importance of the use of the material as an important element of the net zero strategy. Key actions from the roadmap include improving timber and whole-life carbon data, promoting timber as a construction material, and boosting skills, capacity and competency across the supply chain.

What’s in store for new business?

Throughout 2023, Scotts Timber Engineering continued to supply materials to existing customers, and we worked with our partners to ensure designs were in place for 2024 to enable them to build new homes.

Led successfully by our head of sales, Billy Richardson, we look forward to continuing our partnerships with Vistry Partnerships and Miller Homes.

We want to share the positive news that our national agreement with Miller Homes involved supplying trusses for several West Midlands developments including Earls Grange, Telford; Elmhurst Chase, Carterton; Clevewood, Thornbury; Roman Croft, Telford; and Mill Chase Road, Bordon.

The team at Miller Homes was impressed with our products and asked Scotts Timber Engineering to design and create three bespoke car barns for one of their sites. One of the car barns has been built, with the remaining two being constructed in early 2024.

Our production manager, Craig Bull, has been working to ensure that our factories produce products on time and deliver them to our partners. We look forward to continuing to supply more trusses to existing and new partnerships in 2024

Rox Newton, the newest addition to the Scotts Timber Engineering team, who brings over 12 years of experience in the timber engineering sector. Rox has taken on the process manager role, where she will analyse and optimise Scotts Timber Engineering’s business processes to enhance efficiency across departments.

Her commitment ensures the services we provide will continue to be excellent. Rox will also hold Scotts Timber Engineering accountable for delivering top services to our clients. Her responsibilities span the East and West Regions, requiring alignment and collaboration between the sites.

According to Rox, “I am passionate about ensuring not only our customers are receiving excellent service but also that employees are operating within an efficient and organised environment to maintain wellbeing, and that is what motivates me.”

Wellbeing and employee development are also important to Scotts Timber Engineering, and our team will be benefiting from our HR business partner, Katie Whittlestone’s plans for continued staff development in the new year.

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