Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2021 Business Predictions: David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade Brick

It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. 

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we speak to David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade Brick.

I am confident we can maintain the progress we made this year, despite Covid-19 and the uncertainly caused by Brexit, in 2021. We are flourishing in commercial property and education sectors, whilst residential housing, which has been our staple for a number of years, remains strong. In these challenging times, it is vital to spread our work across as many different markets as possible.

It is also important to be optimistic. I have been in the brick industry for many years and have seen the peaks and troughs. The signs are that the economy has every chance of bouncing back and, when it does, I trust that the housing, construction and manufacturing sectors will be in the vanguard of the recovery.

High-profile contracts that we have either started or completed during the past 12 months include Mount Row, a mixed-use development in the heart of Mayfair; Lancer Square, another mixed-use development in Kensington; a prestigious residential development in Ferrensby, near Harrogate; and a new library of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Equally encouraging is that our order book is full well into next year, with major projects in London, Renshaw Hall in central Liverpool and Burton Manor in the Wirrall. To cope with increased demand, we are recruiting five extra staff in the New Year.

Looking ahead more generally, it is encouraging to report that brick remains the building material of choice for many architects and specifiers across the UK. Provided the economy doesn’t implode, we anticipate a very successful and enjoyable 2021.

We particularly value the contacts we have built up in the last 32 years with architects, planners, self-builders and developers. We look forward to continuing those relationships in the years to come.

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