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Will Autumn Statement pave the way for Northern Powerhouse?

The managing director of a leading specialist construction contractor hopes the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review will finally spread growth in the sector across the UK.

Julie White, the managing director of diamond drilling and concrete sawing company D-Drill, said the industry still hadn’t felt the positive effects of the ‘so-called’ Northern Powerhouse.

D-Drill has offices across the UK – including in London, Wales, the Midlands, the South West, the North East and the North West – and Julie says the branch in the capital is still the most successful.

But after a major commitment from the Chancellor to increase spending on infrastructure and housing, Julie believes that could be about to change.

She said: “There has been lots of talk of the Northern Powerhouse in recent years but in our sector, we haven’t seen the same level of growth in our branches in that area as we have seen in London and the South West.

“London is still as hot as ever and our team is flat out there while in the North West we are growing but it’s nowhere near as at the same rate.

“Like all companies in construction, we want to see much more investment in infrastructure – in roads, rail, energy and homes – and the Chancellor has made a very strong commitment to do that.

“But I tend not to judge this type of announcement on the words spoken at the dispatch box in Parliament but on the actual knock-on effect it actually has for the industry.

“During the economic recovery, construction in the UK hasn’t seen the sustained growth that other sectors have but I hope that we may finally see that happen – if this level of investment is delivered.”

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