Workloads in Cambridge and Norwich are good, but not spectacular. The market is healthy enough for contractor Fitzpatrick to set up an office to service Cambridge and Peterborough, and consultants in Cambridge reckon that workload is about 5% higher than last year. Stephen Bugg, a partner in Davis Langdon & Everest in Cambridge, says activity is matching last year’s high levels. Development driven by the university estates department and spin-off high-tech business parks is filtering through to housing and retail.

The Wellcome Trust’s £100m Hinxton Science Park, which was refused planning permission last year can still be saved by John Prescott, while the £150m Cambourne Business Park is steaming ahead, with the University Superannuation Fund backing the £25m first phase. Local developer Start has turned entrepreneur and plans to build six 2800 m2 serviced industrial buildings – the industrial equivalent of Regus offices.

In Norwich, things are still busy, with more than 1000 workers on site at the Norfolk & Norwich PFI hospital. Mark Baxter, partner at Davis Langdon & Everest, says business is holding up in the city. And although the Norfolk & Norwich is a large project, tender prices are under control at 5% inflation.

Local contractors are busy. Social housing and commercial developments, including the continuing Riverside project in Norwich, are keeping the market buoyant, and an £8m scheme to extend the city’s Castle Museum is providing excitement.

East Anglia

The market round here is the same as last year. Cambridge University is still expanding and tender prices closely mirror London Stephen Bugg partner, Davis Langdon & Everest Our order books are up on last year and there are plans to redevelop sites like Nestlé Spokesman for contractor Sindall Key projects £214m Norfolk and Norwich Hospital £150m Cambourne business park Price of a pint £2 in Cambridge, £1.95 in Norwich Price of a three-bed semi £150 000 in Cambridge, £60 000 in Norwich