CONSTRUCTION firms in the North-East are more optimistic about the future than a year ago, a report has said.

A survey of more than 600 companies revealed 69.5 per cent were feeling increasingly positive, with 61 per cent expecting wages to rise through the rest of the year.

However, it said companies continue to worry about a lack of skilled workers and the availability of materials.

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The results were revealed by law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has offices in Newcastle.

Julie Morrissy, Irwin Mitchell’s construction partner, said: “On the whole, these results reflect an improving construction sector.

“Not only are we seeing the impact of strong demand for housebuilding, the sector is being buoyed by mid to high end residential developments, offices, commercial space and logistics.

“The key now is to ensure this positivity is sustained into the longer term.

“The opportunities exist but there are threats and it is vital companies deal with them effectively.

“The availability of materials is a concern, but with the majority of firms expecting wages to increase during the rest of the year, it’s clear the lack of skilled workers could also hamper future growth.”