Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Construction industry 'recovering'

The construction industry in Northern Ireland is recovering despite lagging behind the rest of the UK, experts say

The construction industry in Northern Ireland is recovering despite lagging behind the rest of the UK, experts have said.

The Executive should encourage growth by increasing spending on infrastructure, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

Spokesman Jim Sammon said there was evidence of improvement in the local economy and the picture in the building industry was also more positive.

"However, this is growth from a low base, following a long period of contraction, and the key challenges for the sector locally remain," he said.

These include limited access to bank finance, restricted public sector demand and planning challenges.

He added: "We would urge the Northern Ireland Executive to encourage and nurture recovery by increasing infrastructure spending through moving more money from current to capital spending. Infrastructure is a driver of growth and competitiveness."

Like the rest of the UK, shortages in quantity surveying skills have had an impact.

The spokesman added: "Quantity surveyors are involved in all aspects of the construction supply chain, so when construction activity begins to pick up, demand for quantity surveyors is particularly quick to recover."

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