Monday, 20 January 2014

Made in Hertfordshire

How the University and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce partnered to grow Herts' property & construction sector
By Alex Mortimer

Good news, the UK construction sector growth continues to remain strong, and nowhere is this truer than the south-east - it would take an undiscerning London-dweller to overlook the increase in property & construction. But did you know the HQs of many large construction companies are based in Hertfordshire? The list is long, and includes the likes of Vinci, Willmott Dixon, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska, VolkerFitzpatrick and Bouygues.

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.’

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 & 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 is very forward-thinking, so when I asked their CEO Yolanda Rugg these questions we realised we should do something about it!   We have set up this dedicated networking group, hosted by the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) at the University of Hertfordshire, which aims to support organisations involved in property, building development, cost, planning, sustainability, design and construction 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 Property will ensure that list grows bigger.

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The Property, Construction and Sustainability Network will be holding a series of five events, each featuring a relevant speaker from the industry. 

On 5th February, 2014 there will be a talk on Sustainability linking to BIM, and then on 10th April a representative from Morgan Sindall will present a case study on Building Information Modelling (BIM).

These events are open to both members and non-members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Why attend?
• Network with key players in the sector to promote and generate business for your organisation, including architects, building services, chartered surveyors, construction, developers, engineers
• Meet local business in the county
• Connect with senior decision makers; gain access to leading industry figures
• Hear relevant talks from the sector
• Keep up-to-date with trends and developments and exchange information with like-minded
• professionals
• Raise your profile, build relationships and strengthen strategic alliances
• Entertain your clients at these informative events
If you would like to find out more about the Property and Construction Network please contact Alex Mortimer: A.Mortimer@herts.ac.uk  01707 28 4855


Sources:
Hertfordshire Limited 2013: Investing for growth November 2013

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