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25Jun92 UK: CONSTRUCTION SECTOR GROUP DISCUSS THINK-TANK'S FUTURE AFTER NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE'S CLOSURE.

Members of the construction industry sector group will meet next week to discuss the future of the think-tank, following the sudden announcement that the National Economic Development Office is to close.Top of the agenda will be how to keep the work of the think-tank going.Many construction leaders cheered Chancellor Norman Lamont's decision, but most believe that the loss of the sector group would be a blow.They fear they would lose the one independent body able to provide a critical overview of the strengths and weakness of British construction.NEDO staff are now busily compiling a prospectus of work that needs to be finished by the sector group and what on-going work should be continued by a successor body after the office closes at the end of the year.Christopher Groome, head of NEDO's construction section, is hopeful that a way will be found to maintain the group's work.He said: 'What we need to preserve is the corpus of knowledge and experience held rather than have to scrap it and start again.'But the problem he and his colleagues face is how to find funding to replace that provided by the Treasury. CONSTRUCTION NEWS