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Business & Economy

North East construction leaders form ‘One Voice’ to secure sustainable future

Scores of North East construction sector firms have united to launch a campaign aimed at securing the industry’s future sustainability.

More than 80 operators have created the ‘One Voice’ North East England Construction Strategy (NEECS).

The five-year approach carries an overarching ambition to deliver a carbon neutral built environment by 2050 and commits to making the North East the greenest region by 2030.

Two years in the development, NEECS seeks to drive change within a regional industry that has faced many challenges in the recent past and build a sustainable and inclusive construction sector for the future that is equipped with the right people, skills and technology to thrive.

Reflecting the views and involvement of businesses and organisations following a series of consultation events, officials say that ‘One Voice’ sets out clearly how the sector will begin transformative change across four themes – people, a united industry, value over cost, and our future.

Behind the strategy’s development are Construction Industry Council North East (CIC NE), Constructing Excellence North East (CENE) and Construction Alliance Northeast (CAN).

John Nielsen, chair of CIC NE, says it provides a vitally important and timely vision for the future of the region’s construction sector.

He said: “The industry is facing a period of transformational change driven by the need to address the climate emergency, secure our economic resilience and deliver high quality construction outcomes.

“With strong leadership and by working as a united industry, change is achievable.

“These are highly unusual times, yet our industry will always be required – and our work will always be necessary.

He added: “However, when the industry gets back into gear after COVID-19, what will be different, what has to change and how can we do this?

“We must be able to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and continually develop ourselves.

“I believe this strategy and its associated action plan provide the opportunity for the North East region to lead the way.”

John added bosses intend to hold the first review of the strategy and action plan at the 2020 North East Construction Summit, which is due to be held on September 30.

Before then, several online discussion groups will be held to cover the main themes. Any goals from the action plan that have been attained will be collated.

Funding has been received from several organisations to get the strategy and action plan to this stage.

However, further funding is still sought to deliver the plan in its entirety.