The BRE Trust is described as the UK’s largest charity dedicated to advancing knowledge and education on the built environment for public benefit. James Wates takes from Sir Neville Simms who has been chairman since 2005.
BRE Group chief executive Peter Bonfield said: “James, like his predecessor Sir Neville, is a highly respected and influential figure in our industry. He understands the challenges faced by the sector and the key role that research and science can play in helping us meet them. We look forward to a new era of leadership and strategic direction for the BRE Trust.”
Along with his day job at Wates Group, James Wates is also chairman of Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) trade association.
He is a member of the Confederation of British Industry’s construction council, and a commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES). He is also chairman of the Prince's Trust built environment leadership group, a governor of the University of Westminster and of Emanuel School, vice chairman of Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for the Disabled and a patron of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust.
Of his latest appointment, Mr Wates said: “This role with the BRE Trust is a great opportunity to connect the research and science outputs of the charity with the skills agenda of CITB and the construction delivery and supply chain through UKCG. Our industry is growing but we have fewer resources to work with, we have a significant skills gap and we continue to be challenged by carbon reduction and climate adaption – innovation underpinned by science is the key and this is what the Trust does so effectively.”