Study shows renewal hope

Regeneration professionals are working longer hours but are confident that coping strategies will help them ride out the economic storm, a poll issued last week found.

The Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) survey noted that three-quarters of renewal groups are diversifying to deal with the downturn. Planners, urban designers and other regeneration professionals were interviewed to assess the industry's perception of the economic climate.

All respondents to the survey agreed that leadership skills are crucial to surviving the next 12 months. However, two-thirds claimed that their business is unaffected. Almost a third of renewal professionals told the ASC that they are working on their commercial skills.

The ASC also found that nine out of ten organisations are still investing in skills and training. Chief executive Gill Taylor said: "In tough times, smarter working and strong leadership skills become increasingly fundamental and it is important to continue to look at training and development."

She added: "We know that times are tough for the regeneration and property sectors. But we urge organisations to remember that skills and knowledge really do benefit the bottom line."

ASC steering board adviser and Glendon Property Services managing director Barrington Billings said: "Challenging times require challenging solutions. Having a clear focus on maintaining and enhancing skills is essential if we are to tackle the challenges ahead."

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