Construction in South Lakeland
The built environment of South Lakeland is as significant as the natural landscape, with generations adding their own mark to this beautiful corner of Britain.
It is estimated that construction accounts for up to 10% of all businesses in Cumbria. The construction industry in the region is one of the most switched-on in the UK in terms of working within the constraints of multiple stakeholders whilst consistently delivering award-winning housing and industrial developments to meet the aspirations of their clients. The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, conservation areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty provide obvious challenges and South Lakeland’s construction industry works in close consultation with the relevant planning authorities, with all parties engaging in healthy and productive consultations.
For over 50 years, Russell Armer has been at the forefront of constructing new homes and retail and business premises throughout Cumbria and the North West. They have had a significant hand in building much of South Lakeland, from sympathetic rural developments to housing to meet local occupancy and town centre schemes for living and working.
Established in 2000, Team Northern Construction could be seen as relative newcomers but have become a leading light in the sector, not just in South Lakeland but also on a national level. Their focus is directed more towards public and commercial contracting, and has been responsible for key commissions including schools, hotels, healthcare facilities and listed buildings.
For both of these example companies, their approach to construction utilises the best local craftsmen, (such as stonemasons, for example), creating strong networks and working partnerships with other assured South Lakeland businesses and suppliers. Likewise, they are both committed to encouraging the next generations to continue the strong reputation the construction industry in South Lakeland enjoys and see the local workforce as key to future success.
Child's play is also big business for one South Lakeland concern who has created a thriving company from playground fun. Playdale Playgrounds was established by the Croasdale family who can trace their heritage and woodworking prowess as coopers, hoopers, 'woodmongers' and timber merchants back nine generations to around 1695. From their base in the Leven Valley, they design and manufacture timber-based playgrounds, fitness trails, youth shelters and natural play areas, (at the time of writing, nearly 16,000 throughout the UK), all created to excite and engage. Their success has led them to being considered the leading manufacturer and installer of play areas in the UK.
Kendal College enjoys strong links with the construction industry and continues to deliver a strong curriculum for young people, including apprenticeships which offer a nationally recognised qualification and the opportunity to earn a wage. At the time of writing it is estimated that over 70% of construction companies nationally struggle to recruit trained and skilled staff, therefore this commitment from Kendal College is key to ensuring the sector remains healthy in South Lakeland.
Key points in summary:
- A strong history of construction in the region
- A history of working productively within planning/environmental considerations
- Tangible examples of skilled ‘clusters’ working successfully together
- Larger organisations raising the bar by using skilled local craftsmen
- Experienced and established companies delivering construction across sectors (housing, retail, public sector) both locally and nationally
- A further education commitment to training the next generation of skilled construction professionals