SCOTTISH construction firms said they were bucking the trend as figures for the sector across the UK fell for the second month in a row.

Cambuslang-based Cruden Building & Renewals and Kier Construction, based in Stepps, on the outskirts of Glasgow, believe latest construction sector numbers from the Office for National Statistics – showing a 0.3 per cent fall in output compared to the month before – do not reflect their experience in Scotland.

“While disappointing, these ONS statistics don’t fully illustrate the optimism felt by those on the ground, nor do they reflect the resoluteness of the Scottish construction industry,” said Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, which employs more than 300 has a turnover in the region of £70-80 million.

“Housebuilding remains a key driver for Scottish economic growth and will continue to do so. At Cruden, our ongoing work across a number of projects, including the launch this month of our new Baron’s Vale development at Glasgow’s East End, will help to support further growth.

Gordon Reid, business development manager for Kier Construction in Scotland said: “Kier entered the year on a high with the announcement of a good set of half year financial results, strongly supported by our ongoing successful framework model.

“This steady growth allows us to facilitate local employment and training opportunities throughout the country on all the projects we undertake. Addressing the skills gap in the industry should be a priority. With new opportunities on the horizon, we must ensure we have a talented, hard-working, technically astute workforce to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.”

Across Britain, the ONS said all new work dipped by 0.2 per cent in February, while total maintenance activity fell by 0.5 per cent in the period.

The ONS also revised down the overall sector's performance in January to show a decline of 0.4 per cent, down from a previous estimate of a 0.2 per cent fall.