Thursday 27 February 2020 4:01 am

Construction sector lobbies government for £225m 'future-proofing' institute

Construction and engineering bosses are pushing the government to set up a new institute to promote the interests of the consultancy and engineering sector.

In a letter to business minister Nadhim Zahawi, the 28 leaders of firms involved in national infrastructure seek government funding to develop the Consultancy Sector Futures Institute.

The initiative is being led by industry body the Association for Construction and Engineering (ACE).

The proposal is for a five year framework costing £225m.

The signatories hope the institute will guide the way forward in terms of new skills and technologies.

Specifically, work will be done with clients on demonstrator projects to show new ways of working as trends evolve.

“With our industry on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution, the Institute will help every consultancy transition successfully – from the largest global firms to the most specialist SMEs.

“This programme will build on our current position as world leaders and set a new global standard for consultancy and engineering in the built environment,” said Hannah Vickers, boss of the ACE.

In addition to government, the companies are also seeking to work with academia.

The purpose of the letter, with other signatories including executives from Atkins and Siemens, is to ask the government to demonstrate its support by funding around two-thirds of the amount.

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Paul Reilly, chair of ACE and managing director, Stantec – Infrastructure and Buildings, said: “as an industry we share a passion for wanting to create great places for people, connect them together and build sustainable communities”.