Construction Industry Set to Beat Economic Gloom; North East Construction Stars Set to Shine and Beat the Gloom

Article excerpt

CONSTRUCTION workloads in the North East fell during the last quarter of 2010 according to the latest RICS - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Construction Market Survey and there is little reason to think that this might change in the first quarter of 2011.

Widely attributed to the impact of Government spending cuts, the public housing and public non-housing sectors were the hardest hit in the region, with a marked decline in large-scale new capital building projects.

Despite these challenges, the region has once again seen a record number of entries to the annual RICS North East Renaissance Awards, which showcase the most inspirational initiatives in the property and construction sectors.

Set to take place next month, the awards - widely regarded as the region's property 'Oscars' - saw 80 entries from all over the North East.

Michael Henning, RICS North East spokesperson on the construction sector and associate director at Summers-Inman in Newcastle, says this indicates how the region is weathering the economic storm.

He said: "It can be difficult to remain positive at a time when construction work in the region is low and fiercely competed for. However, the exemplar projects coming forward for the RICS Renaissance Awards truly demonstrate that we possess the quality and skills needed when the market returns.

"We must also remember that the regional economy is much more resilient than it has been in previous recessions and when market conditions improve, we will be able to quickly respond to the inevitable increase in demand for construction services."

Following the government's recent announcement that enterprise zones may return to the region, Mr Henning welcomed the opportunities they could present for the private sector to fill the void left by public sector cuts. …

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