Lighting industry’s future in the Midlands post PFI investment.

Winter 2015 and most City’s across the Midlands have had vast sums of money spent on the replacement of over 100000 lighting columns and it has now invariably come to an end. From Stoke installing 25000 Son-T units, Derby Installing 25000 Cosmopolis and Son-T lighting points and Birmingham replacing 41000 columns and replacing them with columns mounted with LED lanterns and many more authority’s installing a myriad of other lighting points and units.

So the Column manufacturers have had a busy 7 years and the Lantern manufacturers have developed new Lanterns and control systems and had millions of pounds of orders, New people have come into the industry including myself and worked hard to meet the timeframes for the Core Investment Programmes (CIP) and been trained to deliver Street lighting projects.

With the following CIP’s finished: Stoke, Derby, Nottingham, Birmingham, Coventry and with Cambridge and Northampton due for completion Autumn 2016 where will the installation teams, Admin departments and Design Engineers be employed with the workloads now being at levels under authority control? Well if the company’s had employed people to garner work outside of the PFI and grow the business elsewhere the transition should be an easier exercise.

With the rate of house building now finally on the rise in UK due to planning laws being revised and targets being placed on local authority’s in the thousands and not in the dozens as in previous decades, this provides an ideal opportunity for Design engineers to design in conjunction with housing developers to provide bespoke schemes within development specifications Authority’s continue to review with technology advancing.

With these new opportunity’s with developers to work on Section 38 and Section 278 agreements the street lighting specialists who have worked on PFI’s during CIP have the skills which can be transferred to these new schemes, they may not be as large scale as working on a PFI but I feel these schemes offer great satisfaction as I know that in these new houses people like myself who crave a nice new house will have the opportunity to and as a design engineer I have helped in this process and provided the best lighting scheme I can.

Rob Cooper, Nov 2015