Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Switched on Firms Lead the Market

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Switched on Firms Lead the Market

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ian Larnach

We are all aware of the major shift within the North-East to deliver innovative ideas, modern methods of construction, renewable energy systems and supply-chain partnering initiatives.

This is now being driven at a pace by designers, engineers, contractors, housebuilders and, in some cases, clients.

However, the unsung heroes in all of this and the out-and-out leaders in the innovation race are our regional manufacturers and specialist contractors that have direct links to the manufacturing industry.

Certain switched-on manufacturers in the region are part of an elite group that are becoming market leaders in their own specific field.

Market leaders not just in the North-East region but on a national basis and, in some cases, outside the UK.

This elite group have identified that innovation and the ability to adapt to the ever-increasing speed of change is the only way to survive and prosper.

We have some fantastic examples of local companies leading the way in their respective fields.

Timber Frame Solutions / Century Homes, based in Blyth, is already one of the market leaders in off-site manufacturing.

Its factory produces a panel system coupled with the ability to dramatically improve the thermal performance of buildings so there is virtually no need for a heating system.

Not content with continual improvement to their product, the company is also developing Partnership Framework Agreements with its clients.

An example of this is its recent partnership with a number of North-East housing associations who collectively have placed an order with TFS / Century for the delivery of 380 units over 20 sites during 2005.

Metek Building Systems has a reputation for producing one of the best lightweight steel frame systems in the UK.

Its new factory at Newton Aycliffe is gearing up to produce not only framing systems but lattice joists, roofs, internal walling systems and in the very near future will be producing the first lightweight steel-framed, concrete-finished floor cassette system in the UK market. …

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