Construction firms hit by the credit crunch should seek PPP deals in central and eastern Europe, according to research by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The report, Building New Europe’s Infrastructure, revealed that an estimated €500m (£396m) of investment is needed to plug what it called the “infrastructure gap” in the region, particularly in transport and water supply. The report said the European football championships, to be held in Poland and Ukraine in 2012, will further help with the modernisation of the infrastructure.

Jonathan Hook, global engineering and construction leader at PwC, said PPP was an emerging model as EU funding runs out and that there would be opportunities owing to the “need for technical expertise”.