New Year Evolution
As our plans for 2016 swing into action, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on 2015; and consider what it might suggest that this year will hold.
As a business, 2015 was an overwhelmingly positive one; our turnover rose whilst maintaining our profitability. This sustained growth has allowed us to become involved in some of the highest profile projects in the country. We’re involved in the £400M Midland Metropolitan Hospital, which started on site at the end of 2015; and the work at Imperial West on the old BBC site in London is progressing well.
Likewise as a region, our Yorkshire office continued to grow and we continue to be involved in some high profile projects across the region. Our work in Yorkshire remains underpinned by our work in the public sector; universities, schools and hospitals remain the bedrock of our workload in the region.
But in 2015 we started to see a genuine rebirth of the private sector development world. The developments at Sovereign Square, Central Square, Tower Works and Wellington Place are all indications that the office market in Leeds is alive and kicking. We’re really focusing on this sector and expect continued growth in 2016 with developments at City Square House and No 2 Whitehall amongst those being progressed. And lets not forget the major developments on the south side of the river. The CEG development at Holbeck and Vastints recently acquired South Bank site are both long term regeneration projects that will have a major impact on the local economy.
The well documented housing shortage, together with the increasing difficulties for first time buyers means that the Private Rented Sector is growing. PRS has become the new Must Have Acronym; and there are some ambitious high rise schemes planned around Leeds. 2016 is likely to see many of these schemes working their way through the planning system and I hope that we see construction works start later in the year.
Whilst we see the private sector activity slowly increasing, there doesn’t appear to be any slowing of the public sector construction projects in the region. All the Universities in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and York all have ambitious capital works programmes. There is an extensive programme of schools projects in the region, which includes extensions and new builds to both primary and secondary schools. And the local health trusts have capital works programmes, albeit there appears to be increasing pressure on Trusts around the country, with many reporting ongoing deficits.
All in all the outlook for Yorkshire seems massively positive; and we can all look forward to another busy year in the industry.