Lakesmere’s Northern Soul

May 4th, 2016 Posted in: Lakesmere

Construction in London is often seen as setting the pace for the rest of the UK but following the Chancellor’s most recent Budget, the headlines have been dominated with talk of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Although it could be easy to view the Government’s ambitious plans to rebrand the North as mere political rhetoric, for many of us who live and work in this part of the country, the potential for the region to rival that of London and the South East has long been apparent.

For our part, Lakesmere identified the trend for development in this region early on. Although it was in 2014 that Chancellor George Osbourne first mooted the Government’s plans to redress the North-South imbalance, Lakesmere has enjoyed a strong presence in the North since 2000. Initially operating from an office in Ellesmere Port, rapid expansion led us to relocate to Warrington and most recently bring our established team to Altrincham, Greater Manchester. Repeat business, based on long-standing and successful partnerships with architects, main contractors and clients has been key to our growth. Having successfully delivered contracts in the region for over 15 years, from the creation of the iconic cladding of the first direct arena in Leeds to delivering the full envelope at the National Graphene Institute, the Lakesmere North team continues to be well placed to meet the demands of the North’s new ‘renaissance’.

Since 2014, the levels of construction and investment in the region has steadily risen with new and exciting schemes coming to fruition across the North East and in the key cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. Although much of the current debate centres upon the major transport infrastructure schemes of High Speed 2, High Speed 3 and the Transpennine Tunnel, a look at Lakesmere North’s order book shows that change is already happening across other sectors in the region.

The calibre of our current projects is evidence of the reality of increasing investment in the North. So much so that early engagement and collaboration with key clients has become essential to ensure that we retain capacity for priority Grade A commercial projects. We are currently working alongside sister company McMullen Facades to install the full building envelope at the new Central Square commercial development in Leeds, and have recently secured repeat work at the large-scale redevelopment of First Street in Manchester, with several other exciting schemes in the pipeline. Similarly, our work at the revolutionary Factory 2050 development in Sheffield not only represents one of our first major glazing contracts in the North but also proves that innovation and investment in the region is helping to achieve some pretty spectacular new buildings.

With major investment in infrastructure, education and regeneration in the North of England, there are plenty of opportunities available – particularly for those companies that can combine international resources with a sound understanding of the local client base and its needs. The full force of a Northern Powerhouse may yet to be fully felt across the UK but for Lakesmere at least, work up North is proving anything but grim.


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