Scotland accounted for more than half of the total value of UK infrastructure construction contracts in April, a report says.
The value of contracts in north of the border totalled nearly £812 million, or 54.1% of the UK figure, according to construction data specialist Barbour ABI.
Its latest Economic and Construction Market Review reveals mixed news for the infrastructure construction sector across the UK.
While the value of projects totalled £3.6billion last month, based on a three-month rolling average, this was 38.9% lower than the previous quarter and 25% down on April 2013.
Barbour ABI lead economist Michael Dall said: “It is clear that infrastructure construction UK-wide is still struggling to recover from four years of (UK) Government spending cuts.
“But we can see there is still investment going ahead, with a number of new projects – particularly in utilities- which accounted for 60% of contract values nationally in April.”
He added: “In Scotland, projects such as the £675million Neart Na Gaoithe off-shore windfarm in Fife, are primarily responsible for the sector’s upturn.
“The future outlook for infrastructure contracts in the country is highly positive.
“There are a number of projects in the pipeline, including a new £65million wind farm at Ewe Hill in Dumfries and Galloway, and more than £150million of work on behalf of Scottish Water.
“Hopefully, this heralds a sustained recovery for infrastructure in Scotland and across the UK.”
Meanwhile, the latest Scottish Construction Monitor – a quarterly survey of Scottish Building Federation members – has found rising confidence in the building industry north of the border.
Nearly seven out of 10 Scottish construction firms plan to take on apprentices in the coming year, SBF says.
But with firms expressing concerns about a lack of suitable candidates for such posts, the industry body wants more to be done to make a career in construction an “aspirational option” for young people.
Managing director Vaughan Hart says action is needed at primary and secondary schools to encourage children to “think seriously” about working in the sector.