THE North East is in danger of missing out on millions of pounds worth of infrastructure investment unless there is more collaboration in the region to develop plans that attract funding.
That is according to Edward Twiddy (centre of picture), head of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP), who was speaking at a major conference in Newcastle this week hosted by consultancy and engineering group The Association of Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) that has our own Managing Director, David Hodgson as Regional Chairman.
The NELEP chief executive told delegates at the ACE Roadshow at St James’ Park that there is no shortage of available funds to develop the region’s infrastructure – but rather a shortage of ideas for viable development projects.
He called for more collaboration between different industry organisations and clients within the North East to ensure that the region doesn’t miss out on the spending that it needs to drive recovery and growth.
Delegates also heard from Crispin Williams (far left in the picture) of the ACE who reflected on the London 2012 Olympics as a “fantastic demonstration of UK engineering on a global scale”.
He said his organisation – and others such as civil engineering contractors body CECA which was also represented at the event – needed to collaborate more with other parties to develop an improved infrastructure framework.
ACE Regional Chairman David Hodgson (far right in the picture), Managing Director of AMP Consultants, said: “We had a great turnout at the event and it was great to hear from Edward Twiddy, especially his reassurances about available funding for infrastructure investment.
“The overriding message from the event is that we need more collaboration in our industry and with our clients if we are to help the region return to growth.”
The event which was focused on the importance of infrastructure for the North East – also highlighted on the Business Information Modelling (BIM) initiative.
BIM involves the creation of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility with the results being shared between architects, engineers and clients to make the projects more efficient.
The discussion came ahead of new government legislation that means by 2016 UK engineering firms working on government projects would have to adopt the BIM practice.
Kevin Ricketts, CFE business development manager at Schneider Electric, which sponsored the event, added: “It’s fantastic to support this event. We work closely with ACE members in helping them to meet the challenges of addressing CO2 problems and we are committed to helping them save energy.”
For more information about ACE visit: www.acenet.co.uk.