We are drawing to the close of 2015, a year which has been eventful to say the least with many challenges and opportunities opening up as we move in to 2016 and beyond.
2015 has seen Identity Consult position ourselves to respond to those challenges with strategic investment in our people, products and technology across both our North East and North West offices.
The Northern Powerhouse devolution agreements in Manchester, the Tees Valley, across the North East Combined Authority and connectivity with Yorkshire offers Identity Consult an opportunity to play a part in delivering and, to a certain extent, attracting strategic investment across key sectors such as Health, Social Care, Education and Housing where our experiences, skill sets and products represent a really good fit with the respective regions’ ambitions.
We have continued to widen our geographical presence supporting Clients in Cumbria, Yorkshire, London and in the Channel Islands as well as in the North East and North West.
"We have also diversified quite significantly and whilst we continue to enjoy strong market share in both Affordable Housing and Education we now are heavily involved with Integrated Health and Housing, Private Housing, Commercial Office, Culture, Sports and Leisure developments where, on many occasions, our involvement is commencing at business planning stage."
We are mindful of the challenges being experienced by some of our Clients, particularly within the Affordable Housing sector at present, and we continue to work extremely hard to arrive at solutions for our Clients to respond to these challenges. We have helped Durham County Council establish Chapter Homes, which provides Private Sale and Rent housing, and our partnership with Thirteen is helping to promote community-based housing solutions for the NHS across areas such as Mental Health, Physical Disabilities, Intermediate and Dementia Care.
We were also appointed in the early part of the year to provide Project Management support to Smiths Dock LLP, a Joint Venture between Places for People and Urban Splash which has ambitions to deliver up to 800 homes in North Shields.
Our CV within the Education sector continues to expand where prestigious commissions to the value of £65m within Sciences, Enterprise, Advanced Manufacturing, Sports and Residences have been or are in the process of being delivered for Lancaster University, Durham University, Newcastle University and University of Sunderland.
We have also recently completed 26 Residences and a Hydrotherapy Pool for the Percy Hedley Foundation, a scheme and organisation that we are extremely proud to be involved with and we are now well underway in supporting them with their next Academic phase and their wider Accommodation Strategy which will undoubtedly enhance the lives of disabled children and adults across the region and beyond.
Our involvement with the Foundation of Light and their multi-purpose Beacon of Light development in Sunderland has also achieved detailed planning status this year and we are hopeful that this multi-purpose sports, education, health, events and world of work development will start on site in the spring and when completed we are sure will be of not only regional but national importance.
We have continued to promote from within and to also make external appointments which now provides us with Principal Designer, Building Surveying, Clerk of Works and a reinforced BIM offering, a service where we only see continued growth with digital technology being an essential part of our response to the challenges set down within the Construction 2025 agenda.
We are also delighted to have attracted a further Director to join the business to lead and expand our North West office where we see significant growth over the coming years. The Director concerned will join the business in January 2016 and his experience and contacts within the region, we believe, will be integral to realising our growth ambitions and will also strengthen our presence within key sectors such as Higher Education and Integrated Health and Housing.
Our success and growth is integrally linked to having a really talented and motivated team who are aligned to both our vision and that of our Clients and who want to play a part in working with some really forward-thinking Partners in understanding the wider business context. If we are allowed to do this then we can really add some value and this forms part of our strategy in moving forward as is a continued movement away from price=biased mini competitions.
Within Identity Consult we do feel that we have a responsibility to put something back into the communities and Clients we serve. We are delighted to offer continued support to Percy Hedley and the Foundation of Light where our partnership with them and Shildon AFC Development Centre, which we founded, continues to provide much needed training, employment, community and sporting opportunities in my home town.
In summary lots has been achieved and, whilst being mindful of the challenges, we still remain excited about the future where we will look to strengthen key partnerships, grow our Client base, develop our people and invest further in services such as BIM and digital technology in 2016 and beyond.
Thank you for all of your support over the past year and I trust you all have a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
David Dent, Managing Director