Despite the double dip recession being driven by the largest fall in construction output for 3 years, there is no sign of contraction in the cast stone sector.
Indeed, cast stone produced steady growth throughout 2011, with output set to rise marginally in the first quarter of this year.
Members of the UK Cast Stone Association (UKCSA) increased their output by 18.5% last year, due to the huge popularity of their material, which provides a cost-effective and readily-available alternative to quarried stone profiles and finishes.
These figures paint a more positive picture of the construction sector than the national headlines suggest, says Andy Cotton, Chair of UKCSA. The slide in construction output is largely due to the fall in government capital spending. In contrast, our members are finding underlying strength in house building, which currently accounts for 72% of their output, up from 62% a year ago. Clearly, there is pent-up demand for more housing and this can only be good news for cast stone.
Alongside this, UKCSA members increased their market share strongly to around 65% from 54% only a year ago. They produce cast stone that is at least 40% above the British Standard, ensuring a material with outstanding strength and durability. The manufacturing members of UKCSA are: Bradstone, Broadmead Renaissance Cast Stone, Forticrete, Haddonstone, PD Edenhall, Plean Precast, Procter Cast Stone, Woodside Cast Stone.