Plumbing and Hard FM Contractors Market Report - UK 2024-2028 - AMA Research

Plumbing and Hard FM Contractors Market Report – UK 2024-2028

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The 2nd edition of the Plumbing and Hard FM Contractors Market Report – UK 2024-2028 includes detailed insights into industry structure recent market trends, and future projections. Additionally, it provides comprehensive supplier and regional analysis, helping you stay informed and competitive in the evolving market landscape.

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Since 2020, the plumbing and hard FM services market value has grown by nearly 30%, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, with further growth expected until 2028. This increase is driven by higher construction output in residential and non-residential sectors, efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and new energy-efficient technologies. The plumbing contracting sector, accounting for 81% of the market in 2024, remains dominant, but the hard FM sector is projected to grow faster.

In 2023, regional construction activity was highest in London and the Southeast, followed by the North of England and the Midlands. The market is shaped by sustainability and building safety legislation, along with technological innovations. The number of enterprises has particularly increased in Wales and northern England.

By 2028, the market is expected to exceed £30 billion, with a 3-4% annual growth rate, driven by renewable energy investments and AI adoption. However, a skilled worker shortage poses a challenge, highlighting the need for enhanced training and digital skills development.

Industry Composition and Challenges

The plumbing contracting industry is predominantly composed of smaller operators with limited geographical reach.

The hard FM services market is dominated by large companies serving various end-user industries, with a trend towards bundled TFM contracts offering greater expertise and cost savings.

Service Sector Split

In 2024, plumbing contracting accounted for 81% of the market, equivalent to nearly £21.3 billion.

The market split between plumbing contracting and hard FM services has remained relatively stable.

Hard FM Sector

  • Non-residential building design, especially commercial offices, has evolved.
  • Key design aspects include hygiene, cleanliness, and technology integration.
  • Access to technology and assets not available at home has driven the return to workplaces, but greater emphasis on short-term leases, introduction of mobile interior fittings.


Industry Trends

The following are explored as key industry trends:

  • Predictive maintenance and real-time data analytics
  • Increased use of technology to monitor occupancy
  • Energy usage
  • Environmental conditions

The shift towards Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) is another notable trend. IFM involves consolidating multiple services under a single provider, which simplifies management and drives efficiency and reduces costs, by leveraging strategic partnerships with vendors offering comprehensive service packages.

PESTLE Analysis

Provides a macro-environmental view, helping stakeholders understand the broader context in which the industry operates and evolves.

  • Construction output
  • Government spending and initiatives
  • Legislation and standards
  • Carbon Reduction and green energy
  • Outsourcing hard FM

Growth Drivers

  • Investments in transport and energy infrastructure are leading growth
  • Markets such as offices and retail face uncertainty
  • Residential construction
  • Government efforts to address housing shortages


Efforts to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency have driven growth, particularly in heating system installations and maintenance. Other factors include:

  • Continues to influence both residential and non-residential building design.
  • Increased use of Sustainable and recycled materials.

Efforts to reduce carbon footprint and implement high-efficiency solution.

Regulatory and Legislative Impacts

Legislation focused on sustainability and building safety continues to shape the market, encouraging low carbon heating systems and reducing fossil fuel dependence

Impact of New Technologies

The adoption of AI and other advanced technologies aimed at enhancing energy efficiency are increasingly being adopted.

Demand for Retrofit

The high age of the UK’s building stock maintains a strong demand for retrofitting energy-efficient systems.

Workforce and Skill Shortages

A lack of skilled workers will continue to challenge the plumbing and heating sectors, necessitating greater focus on training and IT skill development for hard FM services providers

Housing and Construction Trends

The high age of the UK’s building stock maintains a strong demand for retrofitting energy-efficient systems.

The RMI sector has shown the highest annual growth rates recently.

Product Mix

Product focus within the Plumbing and Hard FM services market  relate to considerations such as cost of operation, functionality, sustainability, Product performance linked with factors such as energy use, efficiency and management. Across bathroom, heating, kitchen, pipes and fittings.


Regional Variations and Infrastructure

London and the Southeast led construction activity in 2023, accounting for over a third of the output.

Most plumbing/HVAC and hard FM services enterprises are based in London, the Southeast, the North of England, and the Midlands.

Northern Region

  • The plumbing/HVAC installation sector accounted for 92% of all enterprises based in England’s northern regions in 2023, a figure unchanged from four years earlier. Between 2019 and 2023, the number of enterprises within this sector increased by more than 18%.
  • At around 9%, the share of all enterprises taken by providers of combined facility support services is highest in the Northwest region.

The Midlands

  • Both regions saw a steep fall in combined facilities support services providers, with a drop of over 60%.
  • West Midlands accounted for 59% of all FM operators in the region, with the East Midlands accounting for the remainder.

Eastern Region

  • The region witnessed more than 20%, growth in the number of providers of combined facility support services. This sector still accounts for just 7% of all enterprises within the region engaged in plumbing and FM contracting. During the same period, the number of plumbing and HVAC installers based in the East of England rose by almost 15%.

London & The Southeast

  • The London and the Southeast region are home to many of the UK’s leading suppliers of plumbing contracting and hard FM services. However, it should be noted that many of the largest companies operate significant nationwide networks throughout the UK.


  • Installers of plumbing and HVAC systems accounted for almost 95% of enterprises within the region during 2023, providing combined facilities support services making up the remainder. This percentage split has remained virtually unchanged since 2019, as both sectors have witnessed a growth in the number of enterprises by around 14% during this time.


  • Plumbing/HVAC installation and combined facilities support services sectors increased by over 19% from 2019 to 2023. The combined facilities support services sector saw almost 24% growth, compared to nearly 19% for plumbing/HVAC installers.
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