Blog

#5daysofmortar - Celebrating Construction in Yorkshire and the North East

May 10, 2017
By Lee Wilkinson, Construction and Real Estate Leader at PwC for Yorkshire and the Humber
#5daysofmortar - Celebrating Construction in Yorkshire and the North East
Next week, PwC Yorkshire and North East are running an online campaign - #5daysofmortar - to shine a light on the construction and real estate sectors in the region. Throughout the week, we are hosting a series of blogs, events and videos discussing, celebrating, and challenging these sectors which represent where we work, live, play and learn.

The construction and real estate sectors are significant contributors to the economy and see many successes, but they also face a number of challenges, particularly around skills shortages and diversity. Our hope is that this campaign will raise awareness of these challenges but also point to the future, drawing on key examples such as innovation around modular housing and Artificial Intelligence.

Yorkshire and the North East have so much to offer across the depth and breadth of the sector that we want to celebrate - outlined below are a few examples:
  • In addition to the ongoing developments at the Olympic Legacy Park Sheffield, we are seeing the expansion of high-tech research facilities around Factory 2050, and the city is continuing to attract a growing cluster of Europe’s leading manufacturers to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, such as Boeing and McLaren.
  • Leeds has a development pipeline in excess of £4bn with major redevelopment opportunities around the South Bank which could potentially generate 35,000 jobs. The out of town developments at Thorpe Park and Kirkstall Forge are creating both employment opportunities but also much needed housing.
  • Newcastle University’s Digital Institute at the Science Central development plays host to the government-sponsored National Institute for Smart Data Innovation and further support for the North East’s new standing as a hub for digital businesses came at the end of last year with the launch of Stellium Datacenters.
  • And Hull, through Green Port, is establishing a world class centre for renewable energy.  The City of Culture is also creating a new buzz around the City and the regeneration of the Fruit Market district is expected to create a thriving city centre community.
As part of the campaign, we wanted to showcase a large scale, ambitious project that reflected a key theme of regeneration, and we believe Olympic Legacy Park Sheffield is an excellent example of this. It offers a number of opportunities to highlight the success of the construction sector as the site is still live with construction ongoing, phases yet to launch and some areas completed. The site is also a great example of what can be achieved when the public and private sector work together.

During the week, as well as support from the Olympic Legacy Park Sheffield team, we will have blogs from Women in Property, Avant Homes, Mark Farmer, PAW Structures and many more.

We’re also excited to be able to host a joint Diversity and Inclusion event with Women in Sustainable Construction and Property on the 16th of May and a breakfast briefing on the 19th at the Olympic Legacy Park Sheffield. After the campaign, we’ll be hosting our annual roundtable dinner on the 23rd of May to discuss the fact that creating a true Powerhouse would require the North to be competitive in attracting investment, not just locally, but also on a national and internal scale.