Construction News

Wed June 16 2021

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Higgins to lead new council

3 Jul 13 Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins has been named co-chair of the new Construction Leadership Council, alongside business secretary Vince Cable, to try to implement recommendations of the Construction 2025 strategy document.

Sir David Higgins
Sir David Higgins

Construction 2025, published yesterday, was jointly produced by the government and industry representatives from the Strategic Forum.

The Construction Leadership Council is the latest in a long line of attempts over the years to provide an effective pan-industry forum for working with government, dating back at least to the National Economic Development Council, whose construction committee finally withered on the vine in the early 1990s, to be replaced by the Construction Industry Council.

The Construction 2025 document sets out four measurable objectives to be achieved by 2025. These are:

  • a 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole-life cost of assets
  • a 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets
  • a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment
  • a 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.

It also sets out 10 aspirations that are neither firm nor measurable, but merely indicate a desired direction of travel. These are:

1. Build the UK’s competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design through the Digital Built Britain agenda.

2. Develop market and technology based plans to secure the jobs and growth opportunities from driving carbon out of the built environment, led by the Green Construction Board.

3. Identify global trade opportunities for UK professional services, contracting and product manufacturing, develop partnerships and promote UK construction through the GREAT brand.

4. Improve the image of the industry by inspiring young people and through a coordinated approach to health and safety and improving performance in the domestic repair and maintenance market.

5. Engage with bodies across the industry to ensure that capability and capacity issues in construction are addressed in a strategic manner.

6. Develop and refine the pipeline of future work opportunities and make it more useable for all construction businesses.

7. Drive procurement efficiency and explore options for further efficiency gains in the procurement process, led by the Government Construction Board and the IUK Client Group.

8. Create conditions for construction supply chains to thrive by addressing access to finance and payment practices.

9. Work with academic and research communities to bring forward more research, development and demonstration to the wider industry and work to remove barriers to innovation.

10. Lead the transformation of the industry through the new Construction Leadership Council, with actions owned and delivered by industry bodies.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “Last week we announced £100bn for new infrastructure to get Britain building again. New roads, railways and energy projects will boost the economy and provide jobs across the country. I want to make sure we maximise our return on this money.”

Government chief construction adviser Peter Hansford said: “Construction 2025 provides us with the strategic focus to transform British construction into a real force to be reckoned with on the world stage. Businesses can provide the expertise to get us there, but the challenge now is to ensure these strengths align with the future needs of a greener, digitally advanced industry.

“This strategy signals a new start for industry, for future growth and for new jobs but this will only happen if the government and industry continue to work together in partnership.”

The full Construction Industry Leadership Council is:

■ Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Co-Chair

■ Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise

■ Sir David Higgins (Network Rail), Co-Chair

■ Mark Clare (Barratt Developments)

■ Louise Clarke, (CIRIA) CIC 2050 Group

■ Geoff Cooper (Travis Perkins), Construction Products Association

Related Information

■ Paul Golby, EPSRC

■ Iain Gray, Technology Strategy Board

■ Peter Hansford, Government Chief Construction Adviser

■ Terry Hill (Arup), UKTI Construction Sector Advisory Group

■ Steve Hindley (MIDAS), CBI Construction Council

■ Paul Kavanagh (Imtech), Specialist Engineering Contractors Group

■ Kevin Louch (Stanford Industrial Concrete Flooring), National Specialist Contractors’ Council

■ Judy Lowe, Construction Industry Training Board

■ Liz Male, TrustMark

■ Juliet Mountford, Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group

■ Janice Munday, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

■ Steve Murphy, UCATT

■ Adrian Penfold (British Land)

■ Tony Pidgley (Berkeley Group)

■ Jack Pringle (Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will), Construction Industry Council

■ Mike Putnam (Skanska), Green Construction Board

■ Neil Sachdev (Sainsbury’s)

■ Paul Sheffield (Kier)

■ Geoffrey Spence, HMT Infrastructure UK

■ Anna Stewart (Laing O’Rourke)

■ James Stewart (KPMG)

■ Mark Wakeford (Stepnell), Construction Alliance

■ Andrew Wolstenholme (Crossrail), ERG/IUK Joint Steering Committee

■ Phil Wynn Owen, Department of Energy & Climate Change

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