Wates Construction boss on why Yorkshire’s property sector shows no signs of slowing down

What are the prospects in the property sector in Yorkshire?

David Wingfield, business unit director at Wates Construction. Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

Yorkshire’s property sector is very prominent at the moment and shows no signs of slowing down. There has been a stream of new industrial, manufacturing and distribution developments across the region and considerable investment in Leeds’ commercial market. With this healthy position comes the opportunity to embrace innovation. When the property sector performs well, it gives rise to new skills and expertise within the supply chain, which is a really exciting prospect.

What is your favourite building in the region and why?

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It’s almost impossible to choose one there are so many. I’ve been with Wates for 15 years and we’ve built countless buildings that make me proud. My current favourite is the new Quarry Hill Campus for Leeds City College. As the most complex building we’ve built in the region, it’s been a challenging but amazing project with no two rooms the same. It also sits alongside the Northern Ballet Theatre, which was built by Wates in 2010 - another favourite.

If you could change one thing to improve the property industry, what would it be?

I think working in partnership is the secret to any successful project. With collaboration you have the best chance of all parties being on the same page and this kind of understanding can go a long way. The need for collaboration is about much more than client-contractor relationships. We have supply chain partners to think of; who can suffer the effects of unsustainable procurement methods. By embracing open conversation, all parties are protected and projects are successful.

What is the best project you’ve worked on?

There are too many to mention. As a project surveyor, I worked on the redevelopment of Headingley Cricket Stadium. One day the site shut down for the test series and we were allowed to watch the test match for free. That was a fantastic perk and it was great to be involved in such a high profile project.

Who do you most admire in property in Yorkshire?

I come into contact with so many great people from colleagues to clients to industry peers. Two that spring to mind are Paul Pavia and Miles Jones from our client, MEPC - they consistently deliver an extremely high product at Wellington Place. MEPC has built the majority of the phases at Wellington Place speculatively and this bold ambition sets a great standard for the region.