Made in Hertfordshire – How the University and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce partnered to bring growth to the property and construction sector in the county.
Most people would say that the financial centre of Britain is London. At the time of writing this, BBC news on the economy announced: UK construction sector growth remains strong . (1)
Good news, as we know that the capital has seen an increase in property and construction growth. However, did you know that the headquarters of many large construction companies, such as Vinci, Willmott Dixon, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska, VolkerFitzpatrick, Bouygues and more, are based in Hertfordshire?
Grant Thornton, in association with Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said in November 2013 of the property and construction sector in Hertfordshire ‘It is a sector which is highly important to the overall performance of the county’ and ‘only second to healthcare – the construction sector delivered particularly impressive turnover growth.’ (2)
How can we capitalise on this for our county and continue to support the construction sector?
What could we do that was different and unique?
I’ve done a lot of work in the construction sector, as part of my work with the FBE (Forum for the Built Environment) to create partnerships and learning and development partnerships with organisations such as Byrne Group, Mace, Ground Construction (GCL) and others – but most of my work has taken place in London. I ask myself why do most of these organisations need to go to London to meet and network, instead of meeting in their home county of Hertfordshire?
The Herts chamber very forward-thinking, so when I asked Chamber CEO Yolanda Rugg these kind of questions we realised we should do something about it! We set up a networking forum, hosted by the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) at the University of Hertfordshire, which aims to support the property, building development, cost, planning, design and construction sectors by encouraging the development of an economic environment in which all businesses and their employees can prosper.
Core team members currently include representatives from NCPM, Herts Chamber, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon, Just Housing, Uniserve, Scott White & Hookins, Bouygues, SW Bruce, Mitsubishi Electric, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The list is growing.
The Property and Construction Network will be holding a series of events, each featuring a relevant speaker from the industry.
These events are open to both members and non-members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Please check our events calender for confirmed dates or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25588528 (2) Hertfordshire Limited 2013: Investing for growth November 2013