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Infrastructure consultancy expands Asian presence with Japanese partnership

A Skipton-based infrastructure consultancy has secured its first commercial partnership in Japan.
Gaist advises local authorities and governments on how to manage their road networks more cost effectively in both the short and long term.

The firm has entered into a partnership with Japanese engineering business Shimizu in order to offer the country’s local authorities its advanced highway audit, inspection and consultancy services.

Gaist has since developed a 25-year maintenance plan for the road network in the city of Yokosuka, near Tokyo. Working with Shimizu, the company now aims to use this plan, which involved a survey covering 1,200km of highway infrastructure, as the foundation for discussion with potential Japanese clients.

Steve Birdsall, managing director of Gaist, said: "Highways and roads are the most important piece of infrastructure in countries across the world, and are vital to economic growth. However, they are also a major expense and require constant maintenance. Our job is to find solutions that ultimately unlock economic growth, working in partnership with the authorities behind them, while keeping costs controlled.

"We've had some exciting contracts here in the UK, including supporting £220m of network investment in Greater Manchester region, but our business appeal is global. DIT has played an important role in our exporting journey, particularly as we've entered new markets where there are language barriers to consider."

Gaist works with international trade advisers from the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Yorkshire region in order to grow its global footprint.

Mark Robson, head of region for Yorkshire and Humber at DIT, added: "Expanding its services overseas clearly presents a significant opportunity for growth for Gaist. We're proud to be able to help the business overcome the barriers required to enter this new market and provide the support needed to export successfully."