Rise in manufacturing?
A series of proposed infrastructure projects surrounding the Northern Powerhouse initiative could open fresh opportunities for manufacturers of building products in the UK, according to a new report.
The Northern Powerhouse hopes to redress the north-south economic imbalance and attract investment into northern cities and towns.
Proposed infrastructure projects include HS2, a £50 billion high-speed railway connecting London, Birmingham, the east Midlands, Leeds and Manchester.
Supporters of HS2 say the project will create better connections between the big cities of the north and Midlands, and make sure our economy shares growth between the north and south.
A report by KPMG says the new rail project could boost the UK economy by £15 billion a year, and will create 22,000 construction jobs in the next five years.
HS2 is set to provide a big boost for the aluminium sector as specifiers on projects around the rail-line choose aluminium, presenting opportunities for manufacturers of these types of products.
Manufacturers are also set to benefit from an increase in new housing, particularly in the private rented sector, as young professionals move to the major cities.
Manchester has a flourishing private rented sector. An increase in career prospects and a rise in population has seen this sector grow by 85% in the city over the last decade.
Manchester now has 60% more 25-29-year-olds than the UK average and needs one new home every single hour.
Leon Friend, director at Hueck UK, said the company has seen an increase in demand for its aluminium systems for projects in cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.
“We have seen increased demand for our solutions for multi-storey residential projects in the cities, as well as commercial projects,” he said. “As more young people flock to the cities, the need for single occupancy homes is growing bigger. New-build houses to buy are out and build-to-rent apartments are in.
“And this will only increase as stronger transport links are forged and more people see the north as a more attractive place to work and live.”
Leon Friend, director at Hueck UK.