The UK government has recognised that major construction projects can act as “major catalysts for economic recovery and renewal.” And this renewal is more necessary to the economy now than ever.

In the early stages of the pandemic, the UK went through multiple lockdowns, and construction work was suspended to limit the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, limited availability of key building materials, along with geopolitical and economic risks, has pushed almost all major construction projects in the UK to go over budget and past their estimated completion dates.

Fortunately, the construction sector’s output is now back to pre-covid levels, with many new projects being initiated in 2022. Monthly construction output increased by 1.1% in volume terms in January 2022 — the highest level since September 2019. Much of this rebound is due to progress on a handful of megaprojects.

An aerial view of a major construction project in London, with cranes and other construction machinery visible.

What are the largest construction projects in the UK in 2022?

  1. High Speed 2 (HS2) Railway
  2. Hinkley Point C
  3. Crossrail
  4. Battersea Power Station Redevelopment

 

What are the biggest ongoing construction projects in the UK? Are there any new construction projects initiated in 2022? If yes, where will they be built, and what’s the expected completion date?

Have you ever heard of Blackwall Yard? It’s a proposed vibrant mixed-use development on the north bank of the Thames. We’ll finish this article with a handful of the most exciting major construction projects coming up in the next few years.

If you want answers to all these questions and a sneak peek into the major construction projects in the UK, read on.

4 Major Construction Projects in the UK, 2022

Let’s start with the four largest construction projects in the UK, 2022:

High Speed 2 (HS2)

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
High Speed 2 (HS2) £87 billion Phase 1: Greater London and West Midlands

 

Phase 2: North West and East Midlands

Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra (BBVS), VINCI Construction Phase 1: 2029–2033

 

Phase 2a: 2029–2033

 

Phase 2b: 2040–2045

 

The journey from London to the North-West

High Speed 2 (HS2) Railway is the second most expensive infrastructure project in the world right now. It is being built from London to the North-West and will connect the biggest cities in Scotland with Manchester, Birmingham, and London.

The H2S is divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: London to West Midlands
  • Phase 2a: West Midlands to Crewe
  • Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds

 

A portion of the proposed route of HS2, centered on Birmingham.

The construction of H2S commenced in September of 2020. The estimated costs of each phase are as follows:

  • Phase 1: £35-45bn, including contingency of £9.6bn
  • Phase 2a: £5.2-7.2bn
  • Phase 2b is still under review by the Government and has no confirmed budget yet.

 

All three phases are active, with Phase 1 leading the way in terms of progress. The 170 miles of new high-speed line is under construction between Crewe and London, with 25,000 people already working on the project.

As one of the biggest UK construction projects in 2022, H2S will create £15 billion annually in increased economic output. Phase 1 (London to Birmingham) is expected to be completed between 2029–2033.

Hinkley Point C

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station £25–£26 billion West Somerset Coast Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke (BYLOR) June 2027

 

Supporting the UK’s ambition to reach net-zero by 2050

Hinkley Point C (HPC) will be UK’s first-ever 3rd generation nuclear power plant. It is Europe’s biggest construction project — spanning 430 acres in total. According to EDF, the Hinkley Point C has over 22,000 people working on the project in Britain, with 922 apprentices trained to date.

Upon its completion, HPC will generate 7% of the UK’s total electricity supply. The two EPR reactors can generate 3,260MW of low-carbon electricity for 60 years. This whole project will provide carbon-free power to six million households across the UK.

The construction began in March 2017 and was expected to be completed by 2025. Unfortunately, HPC has been subject to several delays and budget overruns. Although site work continued even during the pandemic, global supply chain disruption, labour shortages, and inflation significantly impeded the progress.

As of June 2022, the Nuclear Island reactor building of Unit 1 has grown to 34m. The equipment hatch is also complete, with only one smaller ring left to fit.

The reactor vessel is due to leave the manufacturing plant towards the end of 2022 and will be fitted through the equipment hatch in the second half of 2023. The dome of Unit 1 is also complete and waiting to be installed.

The first reactor unit is now scheduled to start operating in June 2027, with an additional £3bn on the bill.

Crossrail

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
Crossrail £18.9 billion London Canary Wharf Contractors (CWC) Phase 1: June 2022

 

Phase 2: Autumn. 2022

 

Phase 3: May 2023

 

Trains & tunnels

Crossrail, now named the Elizabeth Line, is one of Europe’s biggest railway infrastructure projects. It is a 73-mile rapid transit system — connecting two major railway lines terminating in London: The Great Western Main Line and the Great Eastern Main Line.

The Elizabeth line runs from Reading and Heathrow in the west through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. There are 41 stations in total — 10 new stations built for the central London section.

Twenty-six miles of new rail tunnel were bored under the streets of London to make the Elizabeth line a reality. Eight 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines were used to bore these 6.2m diameter rail tunnels under the city. Interestingly, the excavated material was used to create new nature reserves on Wallasea Island, Essex.

On Tuesday, 24 May 2022, the route between Paddington and Abbey Wood was opened to the public. More than one million passengers used the Elizabeth line in the first five days of operation. Nearly 200 million passengers will enjoy the Crossrail annually.

Crossrail will drastically reduce the travel time, making London more accessible for work. People from suburbs on the west to east will be able to reach central London in under 45 minutes.

  • Liverpool St to Paddington: From 18 to 10 minutes
  • Abbey Wood to Paddington: Halved to 28 minutes
  • Farringdon to Canary Wharf: From 24 minutes to 10 minutes
  • Liverpool Street to Woolwich: Halved to 15 minutes

Crossrail is a major construction project in the UK that will generate at least £42 billion for the UK economy. Businesses from all around the UK have benefited from work connected to the completion of the Elizabeth line.

  • 75,000 people have worked on this project to date
  • 3 million square feet of high-quality office, retail and residential space at 12 sites
  • 96% of contracts were handled by companies within the UK
  • 62% of suppliers were from outside of London
  • Tier 1 suppliers: 62% SMEs
  • Tier 2 suppliers: 72% SMEs

Crossrail will be fully functional in May 2023. The lines will operate in three parts — from Heathrow and Reading to Paddington, from Abbey Wood to Paddington, and Shenfield to Liverpool Street.

Battersea Power Station Redevelopment

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
Battersea Power Station Redevelopment £9 billion London Battersea Power Station Development Company, SP Setia and Sime Darby, Mace 2025

 

60 million bricks and 51-metre-high chimneys

The now decommissioned Battersea Power Station is being redeveloped as part of a seven-phased, £9bn worth redevelopment project.

The aim is to bring the 80-year-old structure into the 21st century. The mixed-use development plan includes building several restaurants, shops, bars, residential units, and office spaces.

The whole project is divided into three phases:

  1. Circus West — completed in 2017
  2. Restoration of the Battersea Power Station
  3. The Electric Boulevard

The second phase of the project is currently in progress. Battersea Power Station itself is being repurposed to house 254 apartments within and above the power station.

The old turbine halls will be repurposed into a 2000-capacity event venue, providing a full view of all four chimneys from inside. The North West chimney will feature an observation deck, enabling locals and tourists to experience a 360° view of London.

The Battersea Power Station Development Company has truly outdone themselves by transforming this rugged, industrial site into an elegant reinterpretation of a bygone era.

After completion of all three phases, the 42-acre brownfield site on the bank of the River Thames will feature 253 residential units, 250 shops, cafes and restaurants, 19 acres of public space, Apple’s London campus, and exceptional transport links.

5 Major UK Construction Projects Completing In 2022

Here are 5 major construction projects in the UK that will be completed in 2022:

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
Crossrail £18.9 billion London Canary Wharf Group subsidiary Canary Wharf Contractors (CWC) Phase 1: May 2022

 

Phase 2: Autumn 2022

 

Phase 3: May 2023

8 Bishopsgate Tower £300 million London Mitsubishi Estate London End of 2022
Leeds South Bank Project £500 million South of the River Aire, Leeds BAM Construction The first units are expected to be completed in August 2022
Phase 2 – Battersea Power Station Redevelopment £9 billion London Battersea Power Station Development Company, Mace Summer 2022
Cardiff Transport Interchange £89 million Cardiff, Wales Rightacres Completion date: 2022

 

Accessible to passengers: 2023

The Biggest Construction Projects In The UK (Ongoing)

The following table lists the biggest construction projects that are ongoing in 2022 and are expected to be completed in the coming years:

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
High Speed 2 (HS2) £87 billion Phase 1: Greater London and West Midlands

 

Phase 2: North West and East Midlands

Balfour Beatty, VINCI and Systra (BBVS) Phase 1: 2029–2033

 

Phase 2a: 2029–2033

 

Phase 2b: 2040–2045

Northern Powerhouse Rail £39 billion Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds Buckingham Group Between 2029 and 2040
Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station £25–£26 billion West Somerset Coast Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke (BYLOR) June 2027
Phase 2 – Battersea Power Station Redevelopment £9 billion London Battersea Power Station Development Company, Mace 2025
Thames Tideway Scheme £4.2 billion Acton, London Bazalgette Tunnel Limited (BTL) 2025
Heathrow Airport Expansion £30 billion

 

Third runway: £14 billion

Longford TW6 Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend — for the third runway 2050
Dogger Bank Wind Farm £9 billion 130km off the North East coast of England Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT), Jones Bros Civil Engineering 2026

 

New Construction Projects UK Initiated In 2022

Many new construction projects will be initiated in the UK in 2022. Here are a few of them:

Project Project Value Location Main Contractor(s) Expected Completion
Crown Round III Offshore Wind Farm Development: Zone III Teesside B 1400 MW £3,693 million Dogger Bank offshore zone Seagreen Wind Energy Limited Q4 2026
Elephant & Castle Town Centre – Phase 2 £1,000 million Central London Multiplex 2026
Thorpebury Housing Community £596 million East Midlands, England The Barkby Estate, William Davies Homes, David Wilson Homes and Davidsons Homes Q3 2029
Blackpool Central Station Mixed-Use Community £321 million Central Station site, Liverpool, England Nikal Investments Q4 2028
105 Victoria Street Redevelopment £1 billion Westminster, London Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), Henning Larsen Architects, AKTII, SWECO 2026

Proposed Construction Projects In The UK

Some megaprojects are still in the approval stages. Here are a few proposed construction projects in the UK:

Project Location
Blackwall Yard North bank of the Thames
Eastlands Arena East Manchester, England
Forest Green Rovers’ Eco Park Stadium Stroud, Gloucestershire

Final Thoughts

Major construction projects in the UK like Hinkley Point C, Crossrail, and High Speed 2 (HS2) Railway were delayed due to supply chain issues, labour shortages and inflation during the pandemic.

The Glenigan Construction Industry Forecast 2021-2023 predicted that construction output would return to pre-COVID levels by 2022 — and it has. Crossrail has already opened the central part of the Elizabeth line, and phase 2 of Battersea Power Station Redevelopment will also be open to the public in Summer 2022. There are many new ambitious projects in the pipeline too.

All these megaprojects require budgeting, real-time communication & collaboration, scheduling, project estimation, and site diaries. Is it possible to do all this without technology? Definitely not.

PlanRadar allows you to track the progress of your projects, connect with your team, conduct inspections or site audits and schedule project phases & tasks to oversee progress easily.

You can also centralise coordination of processes across projects, standardise tasks and processes, and manage all the documents in one place.

If you are in the construction industry and want to increase the productivity and efficiency of your team, try PlanRadar for free today.