The chief executive of Igloo on how he feels the economic recovery will affect his business next year
How sustainable do you believe the economic recovery to be?
Very. Simply because the property market is taking off like a train.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities for your business next year? Where is growth going to come from?
Custom build. It’s going to be a major year in the UK industry, and while it will start small in 2014 it will be big in 20 years’ time. We’ve been appointed on the HCA’s first and only pilot site and we’re ready to kick that off next year.
What do you think the greatest danger to your business will be in 2014?
It depends whether the flood of public land coming to the market is going to be sold for more of the same old rubbish developments we’ve been seeing, or whether the public sector will get the Planning Commission’s message about the need to deliver quality developments when it comes to public land.
What do you think the construction industry could do to help itself in 2014?
Something like bringing some of the brick manufacturing plants back on stream. It would be really unfortunate if as the market picks up the construction industry does not have the capacity to supply it, resulting in prices spiralling, being unable to progress projects, or having to import labour and materials. We need to build capacity in preparation.
What single realistic policy change from the government would make the biggest difference to your business next year?
The government has got to provide the tools to bring forward all those sites that are capable of delivering housing which are being land-banked by various organisations. If government were to do one thing it would be to provide the legislative tools needed to allow that to happen quickly.
Chris Brown is chief executive of Igloo