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22nd December Journal Column


By Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence in the North East

It’s that time of year again when everywhere you look there are reviews of the last 12 months and predictions of what we can expect from the year ahead. If I had to summarise what 2017 was like for our industry, I would say three things- progressive, amazing and bloomin’ hard work!

A new year is a natural point in time to stop, assess how things have gone over the past 12 months, look at everything that we’ve achieved and look at what we can do better in the coming year. 2017 marked the beginning of the future of the industry, it was the first year after the fallout of Brexit and the first full year of the BIM level 2 mandate.

Chancellor Philip Hammond made his first Autumn budget since abolishing the Spring statement and within it was plenty of positive news for the industry, which hopefully sets precedent for things to come. House-building and the industry was front and centre of the statement, with many announcements setting out new funding for housebuilding, training and transport. He announced £15.3bn new financial support for house building over the next five years, taking the total to at least £44 billion. By the mid-2020s, it is the government’s aim is to have 300,000 homes being built every year, the highest level of house-building since the 1970s. In the financial year 2016-17 a total of 217,000 homes were built in England, the highest number since the financial crisis, so I’m pretty confident we’ll get there, things are certainly going in the right direction.

As well as the industry, we at Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) have had a very eventful year. We’ve had the Constructing Excellence Awards, both Regional and National, which continue to succeed every year. We’ve supported young people by hosting our second Generation 4 Change Awards, celebrating young professionals in the industry and worked closely with schools and colleges to encourage more young people to consider a career in the industry. We were honoured to have Mark Farmer, author of the Modernise or Die report, visit the North East to speak at this year’s Construction Summit. This year alone, Constructing Excellence held over 250 events, with more than 17,000 participants and raised over £26,000 for charity through our annual awards programme.

There are so many other things that I could mention as it’s certainly been another busy year, but I don’t want to keep you away from your festivities for too long! So, there’s just one thing left for me to say, from all of us at Constructing Excellence in the North East, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. Let’s see what 2018 has in store for us!

For more information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, please contact chief executive, Catriona Lingwood, on 0191 500 7880 or email catriona@cene.org.uk.

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