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Supply chain calls for collaboration to deliver best value from North East investment

One Future Report

The OneFuture North East 2023 report is based upon research led by Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) in collaboration with Northumbrian Water.

The report gives insight into investment plans of North East client organisations from 2023 to 2030, as well as the capacity and capabilities of the supply chain to deliver on these regional needs.

Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of CENE, said: “This report highlights a collective challenge that, with billions of pounds of investment planned, also represents a collective opportunity for companies in the North East to deliver for the North East.”

The report calls for action in three key areas, climate, people and value:

  • Climate: The report calls for the creation of the greenest region with targets and timelines, a collaborative approach to achieving net zero and the convening of stakeholder groups to accelerate the adoption of more sustainable innovations.
  • People: It also calls for current apprentices to be engaged in developing the regional strategy, along with centrally-funded STEM incentives, collaborative work to attract and retain home-grown talent, and the creation of a career pathway to construction. The report also highlights the need skills gap challenge, with a 2022 Construction Skills Network report indicating that more than 9,200 additional construction workers needed in the North East by 2026 and Construction Industry Training Board research showing that only 30% of potential new recruits feel construction is “for them”.
  • Value: The report calls for a collaborative approach to corporate social responsibility, collective lobbying for Government support and funding for the North East, a central hub for funding information, and improved sharing of plans from clients to the supply chain.

These actions will be driven by CENE’s theme groups on climate action, innovation, people, value and construction clients, and organisations are being urged to get involved with these discussions to help drive them forward.

Catriona Lingwood added: “With individual companies forecasting annual spending ranging from less than £10m to more than £100m, this is an amazing opportunity to come together and make sure that everyone benefits.

“We can’t just sleepwalk through such an exciting period of investment, operating in a business as usual manner. We have to grasp this with both hands, supply chains and clients, and not only deliver upon our individual and collective needs, but to actively generate a legacy that leaves this region, its businesses, people and communities in a stronger position than ever before.”

Carol Cairns, Chair of Constructing Excellence in the North East and Head of Programme Management Office at Northumbrian Water said: “The research behind the OneFuture North East report also reflects the planning we are putting in place at Northumbrian Water, where we are preparing to more than double our capital investment in 2025 to 2030. Working with our existing supply chain, and as we work to bring more partners and new recruits on board, we are creating a plan of action based around mutual benefit, rather than a top-down client and supplier system.

“Those who have taken part in the OneFuture North East research have given a clear vision of their needs and wishes for these coming years, and those involve getting the best for this region and its people, so we need the region to get on board with that and come together to make it happen.”

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