Written by the Support Services team at Newgate Communications
Setting aside the uncertainty of the General Election result this May, investment in UK infrastructure looks like it will continue on an upward trajectory, along with economic growth. More money was allocated to regional infrastructure projects across the UK in the recent Budget, particularly the South West and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. There’s also the £15 billion ‘Road Investment Strategy’ that is designed to inject new life into the UK’s road network over the course of the next decade and Network Rail’s £38bn spend on new trains and station upgrades over the next five years.
This all paints a positive picture for the future of the support services industry operating in road, rail and town planning, but it must be taken in the context of the previously unprecedented Local Authority budget cuts and on-going budget constraints. Furthermore, all this investment is relatively recent, and Local Authorities (particularly those outside of London) still have to be very careful and creative about how they spend their money.
For companies working with Local Authorities and trying to sell their services to them, it’s increasingly important to showcase innovative thinking and expertise, as the competition for a slice of the investment pie is likely to be fierce for the foreseeable future.
It is one thing winning the business, but implementing it is quite another. Amidst a national skills shortage there is the added pressure to win the best talent possible, so that work can be delivered and profits boosted. Therefore support services companies cannot neglect to promote their projects, company ethos and career prospects to public at large as well.
Furthermore, with the ever-expanding world of social media, we’ve noticed that private service providers have to build community, media and social media relations into their tender pitches. This will no doubt be a permanent requirement of service providers and construction firms alike, as they need to keep communities engaged and informed about project progress.
With the pending devolution of further powers to the regions and the emphasis (from the main political parties) on infrastructure investment as a means to power economic growth, the future looks bright for the support services sector. However firms must embrace new ways to engage with communities and innovate if they are to emerge as winners in an increasingly competitive market.