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Brick manufacturing increases due to housing demands

  • 15 May 2015

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Brick production during 2014 year rose 17% compared to 2013, totalling 1.8 billion bricks – demonstrating how the brick industry has reacted to meet increased demands from house builders.

The Brick Development Association – which represent 99% of the UK brick manufacturers – have estimated that output numbers will rise to 2 billion bricks in 2015.

The recent announcement of plans to construct a new manufacturing plant in Leicestershire suggests that the brick industry will continue to grow over the medium term.

The majority of bricks manufactured in the UK go to new housebuilding. Figures from the Construction Products Association (CPA) have concluded that the number of new houses completed during 2014 was 7% up on 2013 at 140,072.

Brick shortage

Current production numbers have addressed a large amount of brick shortages that were present at the start of the surge in housebuilding.

Stock levels are now stable and comparable with increasing production and there are now 415 (provisional) million bricks in stock.

This is up 5% from a low point in 2014 – suggesting that manufacturing is now keeping pace with demand.

Four previously unused brick manufacturing plants were brought back into operation during 2014 in Ewhurst, Accrington, Hartlebury and Claughton. A new manufacturing plant also opened in Chesterton.

As supply issues reduced, the number of imported bricks, mainly from Holland and Belgium, has risen – contributing more than 400 million bricks to the 2014 supply.

Housebuilding targets

The new government have suggested a target to build at least 200,000 houses per year, with housebuilding completions rising steadily towards this goal over the next 5 years.

With the brick industry able to deliver rising number of bricks into the market in 2015, manufacturers have demonstrated that they are able to make substantial investments into manufacturing plants to increase production, providing there is continued stable demand.

However, some challenges still face the industry.

Smaller contractors and independent merchants may struggle to secure their orders in advance – with over 1,200 brick types in the UK, particular products may not be available but there will generally be a suitable alternative available

Brick Development Association,
The Building Centre,
26 Store Street,
London,
United Kingdom,
WC1E 7BT

Visit Brick Development Association's website

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