Muse pipeline grows to £1.8bn

Urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments has seen its pipeline of work grow by £400m to £1.8bn since the summer following a series of contract wins.

In an interim management statement covering the four months to November 8 its parent, the construction group Morgan Sindall, described the economic environment as "challenging" but said its success in regeneration would help it emerge from the current market a stronger business.

Across the group the regeneration pipeline grew by £400m to £2.2bn with a further £900m at preferred developer stage – some £500m of that was credited to Salford Quays-based Muse.

In recent months Muse secured the former Lloyds Banking Group site in Chester with a view to creating a £115m, 500,000 sq ft business quarter and was named as Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's partner for a £200m redevelopment over 15 acres.

It is also handling Warrington Borough Council's £130m regeneration of Bridge Street and around 30 other projects, including the £220m Talbot Gateway scheme in Blackpool.

"The division continues to build momentum across its portfolio of regeneration schemes with more than double the amount of construction on site than a year ago and with a number of schemes securing planning in recent months," said the statement.

Matt Crompton, MuseElsewhere Morgan Sindall said contruction markets continue to be affected by public sector cuts, although it has seen commercial activity pick up in London and the South East.

Infrastructure markets remain healthy and construction expects to see opportunities in power distribution, airports, rail and roads.

Lovell, its social housing business, continues to be "robust" and it expects to win new-build contracts following the allocation of £560m by the government to registered social landlords.

It is also make "good progress" with the parts of Connaught it acquired out of administration in 2010.

Fit out arm Overbury is continuing to take market share although conditions are, "highly competitive and constrained by the lack of major project opportunities".

"Overall we continue to pursue attractive opportunities across all the group's market sectors," added Morgan Sindall which has a forward order book of £3.3bn.

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