PRESIDENT’S COLUMN Steel starts for
Race on to complete trackside hospitality
Work is revving up for the completion of a flagship
hospitality centre at the Thruxton Motorsports Centre
The state-of-the-art complex will include a
restaurant, bar, exhibition gallery, function rooms,
hospitality suites, catering facilities, viewing terraces
and a balcony.
Steelwork contractor REIDsteel has designed,
manufactured and supplied all of the steelwork,
cladding and glazing for the modern, two-storey
building alongside local contractor Mata Construction.
The £1.5M centre’s innovative design includes a
grand atrium and entrance lobby said to reflect the
dynamism of motorsport and Thruxton’s rich heritage.
“We chose a steel frame for a combination of
reasons. Our architectural intent was to emphasis
the high-tech nature of motorsport in the building’s
design. The steel frame facilitated the complex roof
geometry and cantilevers that echo the famous curves
of Thruxton’s iconic circuit,” said Zac Chapman of
project architect Chapman Partnership.
Marketing Manager at Thruxton Ben Norton said:
“Our flagship hospitality centre is the latest addition
as part of ambitious modernisation and growth plans
in our 50th anniversary year.
“It is an exciting and innovative development which
will allow us to deliver stunning and memorable
events for groups of all sizes with hospitality of the
Thruxton’s 2.4 mile circuit is the fastest in the UK.
It also has paddocks for different activities, a top-class
kart and 4x4 centre, and state-of-the-art skid pan
The UK economy is bumping along, we have read
about construction material costs rising across the
board, tightening labour availability, and the latest
Construction PMI shows subdued growth conditions.
So, what does 2018 and beyond hold for the
structural steelwork sector?
Given these general conditions, the outlook is solid
– as is the sector itself. In 2017 structural steelwork
consumption in the sector was 894,000 tonnes. We did
see an easing in consumption last year, but 2018, 2019
and 2020 are forecast for an increase of 1.4%, 2.5%
and 2.2% respectively giving total structural steelwork
consumption of 950,000 tonnes by 2020.
The largest sector for structural steelwork is industrial
buildings, accounting for around 47% of structural
steelwork consumption in the UK in 2017. This includes
warehouses, factories, portal framed superstores,
infrastructure buildings such as airports and stations,
and cold stores. This sector saw massive growth in
structural steelwork consumption between 2012 and
2016 – 30% by volume. In 2017 structural steelwork
consumption in industrial buildings fell by just under
3% as the building boom in massive distribution
centres eased, but demand is set to pick up again in
2018 and beyond, leading to further rises in structural
steelwork consumption in 2018 (+ 1.4%), 2019 (+0.2%)
and 2020 (+0.9%).
Things will remain a bit softer in the offices sector,
one renowned for economic cycles, especially in
the London market. In terms of structural steelwork
consumption, this sector accounted for a 13% share
in 2017. Our analysis shows that there will be falls in
the construction of office buildings in London in 2018
and 2019, only partially offset by solid growth in the
construction of offices in regional cities. This will result
in a reduction in structural steelwork consumption for
the sector. However, a pickup is due in 2020.
HS2 will have a positive effect on structural steelwork
consumption in both bridges and other rail structures
from 2019 onwards, with 50% growth in consumption
in the sector expected between 2017 and 2020.
I’m often asked about the capacity of the sector to
manage increases in demand for structural steelwork;
this becomes pertinent as we move back towards
the 1 million tonnes mark of structural steelwork
consumption. A recent study on the UK’s structural
steelwork capacity showed that there was ample latent
capacity in the sector to meet increased demand.
As our member companies look forward many are
investing in new automated machinery and equipment,
as well as other technology to boost productivity.
BCSA President & Sales Director Cleveland Bridge
Ulster church scheme
The Green Pastures Church is rapidly taking shape on the
outskirts of the Northern Ireland town of Ballymena.
The large and imposing steel-framed structure,
set within a 96-acre site, will comprise a main
1,600-capacity auditorium, sports hall, classrooms,
meeting spaces, crèche, a gym, café, offices, a fitness
studio, wedding and reception venue, as well as a large
According to a Green Pastures spokesperson, the
church is only one phase of its mini-village project.
Construction of the church got under way last year
with an enabling works package that included installing
drainage and preparing the plot for the building by
levelling the sloping ground.
Locally-based contractor martin & hamilton (m&h)
started on site during July and began by installing pad
foundations in readiness for the steel frame to be erected.
Steelwork contractor Walter Watson is fabricating,
supplying and erecting 840t structural steel for the
Stage set for Hull Venue opening
Hull Venue, a £36M state-of-the-art music and events
complex with a capacity of 3,500 people is nearing
completion and will host its first live acts later this year.
Working on behalf of Hull City Council, BAM
Construction is main contractor for the scheme and it
has subcontracted James Killelea to fabricate, supply
and erect all of the steelwork.
The Venue will allow the city to host large corporate
conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, as well as
concerts and sporting events.
The facility has been designed to be flexible and it
can be reduced to a 2,500-capacity for an all-seated
event and a 2,000m² exhibition space, as well as an
According to Hull City Council, the Venue will also
provide 30 full time jobs with more than 100 temporary
jobs on event days, as well as an annual £13.5M boost to
the city’s economy.