A BRICK company based in North Yorkshire says it is ready to tackle a brick shortage which is holding back the UK’s construction sector.

The York Handmade Brick Company, based at Alne near Easingwold, says it has invested heavily to boost its output and counteract the country’s brick shortage.

According to a new survey, carried out by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a shortage of bricks and bricklayers has been cited as the main cause of a surprise drop in output in the construction sector.

Fears that builders cannot meet the rising demand for houses were fanned by the RICS survey, which revealed that almost 40 per cent of the surveyors it polled believed brick shortages were a brake on activity. Echoing reports from house-builders, they said bricks and concrete blocks in particular were in short supply.

But David Armitage, the chairman of York Handmade Brick Company, said his firm was in a good position to help tackle the problem.

He said: “It is a sad fact of life that the recession, which was particularly brutal in the construction sector, has seen the decline and closure of many brickworks across the UK.

“Here at York Handmade we have fought really hard – and successfully - to keep going and we are now well-equipped to take advantage of the upturn in the construction sector, especially in the self-build market.

“We have invested in the future, by spending £65,000 on refurbishing our two kilns, which will increase production and efficiency. As confidence returns to the property market, we are beginning to reap the benefits of this investment and of our determination to battle through the difficult times.”

Mr Armitage said the company had seen an increased demand for its bricks and was supplying a prestigious development by long-running client Heritage Homes in Devon, which underlined their reputation as a national supplier. Last year the company celebrated its 25th anniversary and in 2012 took three prizes at the prestigious Brick Development Association awards, including one for its work at Tupgill, Middleham, home of the Forbidden Corner tourist attraction.