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Positive Outcomes

22 Apr
14:59

Tesco losses attributable to fall in value of property portfolio

Submitted by Kevin Chrisp, EC Harris, Sector Leader - Conglomerates & Consumer Goods

Tesco has this morning posted a record £6.4bn annual loss, £4.7bn of which was the result of a fall in the property value of its UK stores.  Although this is the biggest loss suffered by a UK retailer, it’s important that we maintain some perspective. This is not a cash-balance loss and Tesco is fighting back hard. In this instance, the property write-down is a clear example of how Tesco is looking to make the foundations of its business stronger. Given it’s entrepreneurial... Read More

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Tesco losses attributable to fall in value of property portfolio
20 Mar
11:25

Budget 2015: Not the public sector game-changer we were hoping for

Submitted by Philip Black, EC Harris, Head of Public Sector

Amidst the usual bluster and rhetoric we have come to expect from the Budget, any notable measures for the public sector were unfortunately few and far between.  We might have seen  increases in funding for church roofs, but there was nothing to further improve the condition of school buildings. There was greater fiscal autonomy for Local Authorities and the regions, but significant cuts for Government Departments and no new money for Local Government. And... Read More

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Budget 2015: Not the public sector game-changer we were hoping for
19 Mar
15:41

Budget 2015: It's the (local) economy, stupid

Submitted by Simon Rawlinson, EC Harris, Head of Strategic Research

Pre-election budgets have a character of their own.  As a set-piece, they provide a great platform for governing parties to celebrate their achievements and to position pre-election inducements and a pattern of play for the campaign to come.  George Osborne did a bravura job in his whirlwind round-up of the UK’s recent progress – including the little-known fact that Yorkshire has created more jobs than France – no doubt presenting his data in the most advantageous light.... Read More

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Budget 2015: It's the (local) economy, stupid
19 Mar
09:43

Budget 2015 brings no new investment plans for infrastructure

Submitted by Mark Cowlard, EC Harris, Global Head of Rail

It is well recognised that investment in Britain’s infrastructure provides the greatest benefit to economic growth, but the chancellor today failed to recognise this with no new announcements of investment plans. Recent investment has contributed to an economy that has ‘grown faster than any other major economy in the world’ but where next? We expected to hear confirmation of plans to progress HS3, supporting the Northern Powerhouse, instead we heard of plans to provide for a... Read More

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Budget 2015 brings no new investment plans for infrastructure
18 Mar
16:15

Announced budget support unlikely to halt Oil & Gas industry decline

Submitted by Henry Lang, EC Harris, UK Head of Oil & Gas

The announcement in the budget with regards to the North Sea taxation is welcome but is unlikely to halt the overall decline in this mature region on its own. The issue of costs and declining production still have to be addressed in a co-ordinated fashion if the UK wants to maintain the current levels of production rather than rely ever more on imported energy. The budget also does not address the opportunities that exist for UK Plc to continue to export our globally recognised expertise in... Read More

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Announced budget support unlikely to halt Oil & Gas industry decline
9 Feb
15:48

Unlocking benefits through quick decisions

Submitted by Mark Cowlard, EC Harris, Global Head of Rail

There's no doubt that George Osborne's emphasis on creating a 'Northern Powerhouse' as part of the National Infrastructure Plan is welcome. Investment in infrastructure contributes to GDP growth in a way that few other investments are able to and the proposed rail upgrades set out in the Plan will have an enabling effect on the regional economies. However, a lengthy decision-making process on important and inevitable infrastructure projects is still preventing the UK from reaping... Read More

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Unlocking benefits through quick decisions
21 Jan
16:00

The need for counter-cyclical thinking in public sector housing delivery interventions

Submitted by Mark Farmer, EC Harris, Head of Private Residential

With the continuing focus on the housing agenda by all political parties and the ever diverse search for avenues by which increased housing supply can be delivered, it is clear that there are long-term structural constraints in the market which seriously hamper the ability of the public sector to really effect meaningful change in output. The reliance on the private sector and the market mechanism is now not only to deliver private housing but also to integrally support social housing output... Read More

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The need for counter-cyclical thinking in public sector housing delivery interventions
16 Jan
17:21

Adapting to Scarcity 2015

Submitted by Simon Rawlinson, EC Harris, Head of Strategic Research

As the property and construction industries kick-start 2015, all signs point to a strong year for investors, developers and all parts of the design and construction supply chain. However, we could be rapidly moving into a point in the cycle where demand exceeds supply, where a war for talent disrupts project resourcing and where over-trading risks below-par performance and poor quality work. The aligned stars of strong end-user demand, widely available finance and high quality product will... Read More

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Adapting to Scarcity 2015
16 Jan
09:05

The cost of providing school places is at least 50% higher than has been reported

Submitted by Marcus Fagent, EC Harris, Head of Education and Children's Services

I discussed my views on the school places funding gap with Construction Enquirer, click here to read the article or read my full viewpoint below.  The cost of providing the 878,000 additional school places needed between 2015 and 2023 has been estimated at £12bn.  We have analysed our benchmarking data, drawn from our work on school projects with local authorities and the Department for Education, and we believe that a more accurate figure would be in excess of £18bn. ... Read More

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The cost of providing school places is at least 50% higher than has been reported
13 Jan
17:35

The Shifting Private Rented Sector Sands

Submitted by Mark Farmer, EC Harris, Head of Private Residential

My views on the outlook for the Private Rented Sector in 2015 were published in Construction News on 9 January 2015 as their 2015 Housing Preview of The Year. See the full article below. 2014 was a fascinating year of twists and turns for the UK residential sector, and I expect 2015 to be no different. What is clear is that the importance of housing to the political agenda of all main parties has added a particular spice to residential development and investment markets which remain in... Read More

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The Shifting Private Rented Sector Sands

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