Representatives from Atkins and Maber heading to Iraq in bid to win commercial and residential contracts

Business leaders from the UK construction sector are heading to Iraq later this month as part of a delegation hoping to win contracts for a number of commercial and residential developments in the country.

Representatives from Atkins and Maber are heading to Erbil in Kurdistan, North-east Iraq, for a five-day mission to meet key individuals in the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government to showcase British construction.

Mark Hobson, managing director of Nottingham-based Maber Architects said: “Architecturally Iraq is an interesting challenge for our practice and we know that there are some decent opportunities for people like ourselves over there.

“We are keen to offer a multi-disciplinary approach with a number of other consultants to offer technical services covering construction, highways, flood issues, as that is how we understand they work in those countries, they like the architect to be the team leader.”

According to a report by the Iraqi government the counrty is currently investing £15bn in new housing projects, £5bn on transportation and £3.5bn for water and sewage facilities as part of the reconstruction effort.

The Iraqi government has also set a target to build 3.5 million new homes over the next decade, some 350,000 units per year. Overall it is estimated that the country needs to invest over £62bn in new housing over the next decade.

Mark Hobson added: “A lot of UK practices who can’t find work in the UK have headed out to Middle East countries and set up offices in Abu Dhabi and other developing regions, which are now saturated with practices.

“So we thought we’d look at something a bit more challenging and untapped.”