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Mon December 04 2023

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Knighthood for James Wates

10 Jun 19 There were just two citations for contributions to the construction industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019, plus a further two citing contributions to the built environment.

Arise, Sir James
Arise, Sir James

A knighthood for Wates Group chairman James Wates is the industry’s most senior honour this time around, although his citation says ‘for services to business and to charity’, with no mention of construction.

Certainly no one in construction has more extracurricular activities than James Wates. Last year he was appointed to lead a government initiative to improve good corporate governance. He is also chairman of Tomorrow’s Company, described as ‘a think tank that exists to inspire and enable business to be a force for good’ and is chairman of the Prince’s Trust corporate advisory group. He is also, or has until recently been, chairman of the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Trust, chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), chairman of the Prince’s Trust built environment leadership group, co-chairman of Build UK and a member of the prime minister’s Apprenticeship Delivery Board. He is vice chairman of the of Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, a governor of the Emmanuel School, a governor of the University of Westminster and a patron of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust.

The only two 2019 Birthday Honours that did mention construction were the OBEs awarded to Anne Kemp, chair of the UK BIM Alliance, ‘for services to digital construction innovation’, and to Maria Coulter, a quantity surveyor turned business coach, ‘for services to diversity and inclusion in the construction industry’.

OBEs are also awarded to Louise Brooke-Smith, Arcadis UK head of development & strategic planning, and architect Lucy Musgrave.

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Louise Brooke-Smith, who in 2014 was the first female president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), is recognised ‘for services to the built environment and diversity and inclusion.

Lucy Musgrave, the founding director of Publica, is recognised ‘for services to architecture and the built environment.

Other awards of interest to the construction industry include a CBE for former Terex Construction president Colin Robertson. These days he is chief executive of Alexander Dennis and is recognised ‘for services to exports and the bus and coach manufacturing sector’.

Tony Meggs, the former head of the Infrastructure & Projects Agency who took over as chairman of Crossrail in January, becomes a Companion of the Order of the Bath, ‘for public service’.

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