Severe challenges facing Northern Ireland’s construction industry were underscored today as it emerged that redundancies are being made at the Belfast office of an international property consultant.
Six jobs including administration staff and quantity surveyors are being cut at Cyril Sweett on the Belmont Road.
The firm, which has offices in Europe, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, acted as a cost consultant for the Victoria Square development in Belfast.
Northern Ireland regional director Geoff Warke said the firm had suffered from the knock-on effect of delays affecting public sector projects.
“The slowdown in the Northern Ireland construction industry has resulted in a number of funding delays across the entire market.
“This has naturally impacted particularly hard on the public sector, meaning that timelines have had to be reviewed for a number of projects.
“In order to ensure the ongoing successful management of the company, we have therefore had to review our own cost efficiencies and streamline the business in a way that will allow us to more effectively adapt to these tightening conditions.”
He said redundancies had resulted after attempts to deploy staff in other parts of the group.
“It is unfortunate that this has resulted in six members of staff being made redundant but, if we are to safeguard the rest of our employees as well as continue to maintain growth and profit margins for the benefit of our shareholders, it is essential that we remain realistic in the face of a challenging economy.”
Today’s news comes just days after the Toome-based Creagh Concrete announced it is to shed 90 jobs due to the downturn in the housing market.
Organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have warned of the impact on the construction industry of delays in bringing projects contained within the Government’s £18bn Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland on site. It said that this is exacerbating the impact of the residential property downturn.