Leeds is seeing a surge in the housing and leisure sectors. About 3000 new-build flats are planned for the next few years, and a host of new bars, pubs and restaurants are springing up.

Sheffield, once deep in the doldrums, is set to be revived. The city received £743m of European funding last year, which is expected to be channelled into major construction projects.

Although demand for office space is low, QSs are reporting more specialist and high-tech industries coming into the area.

Contractors are seeing an increase in design-and-build contracts, as well as more private finance initiative work, particularly in the university and hospital sectors. However, the upturn in work in the region has not yet filtered through to contractors’ margins.

Despite major regeneration schemes, such as Sheffield’s Heart of the City and Leeds’ Clarence Dock, margins are still described as tough. “It’s a bit less fun than it used to be in contracting,” says Chris Jones, managing director of architect Carey Jones.


The South used to be seen as more innovative and more Egan-like, whereas the North was very traditional. That’s balancing out now Nigel Barr partner, James R Knowles Despite things not being that active, there is a big buzz about attracting people to Sheffield Peter Beard partner, QS Monaghan Partnership Key projects Heart of the City project in Sheffield including the £120m Millennium Gallery and Winter Gardens, due to be completed at the end of 2000 Clarence Dock a £100m mixed-use development with planning approval. Construction is due to start at the end of 2000 £70m Leeds Arena including an auditorium, hotels and car parking. Construction is due to start late summer once the DETR gives the go-ahead Price of a pint £2 in Leeds Price of a three-bed semi £90 000 in Leeds