Two influential contractor groups recently merged to create a new trade body, Build UK, which is designed to represent both main contractors and specialist contractors in Britain, the Construction Enquirer reports.
The body will be created by a merger of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) and the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC), and will speak for nearly all of the contracting supply chain with 28 members from the UKCG and 33 trade associations from the NSCC.
In addition to this, seven major trade bodies - already associated with the UKCG - will become members. This includes the National Access and Scaffolding Association, the National Federation of Demolition Contractors and the M&E sector – reflecting the interests of the Building and Engineering Services Association and the Electrical Contractors Association.
The two groups will carry out a formal vote in June to put the merger into effect, but it won't be until September this year that Build UK becomes fully operational. The trade body will be steered by Suzannah Nichol, the current chief executive of NSCC.
Once established, Build UK will have the most extensive range of interests that have ever been encompassed in one industry body. However, civil engineering contractors, smaller building firms and lift makers will not be represented.
Kevin Louch - residing president of the NSCC - and James Wates - chair of the UKCG - will both chair for the new trade body.
Commenting on the merger, Louch expressed his view that coming together would allow the groups to have "honest conversations about how projects can be delivered more effectively," as well as being able to address "major industry issues such as pre-qualification, skills and of course payment."
Wates added: "This is a huge step forward for the supply chain and, while there are some undeniable anxieties about how Build UK will function, all our discussions to date have been extremely positive."
It is hoped that having one unified voice will also give tier 1 to tier 3 contractors a more powerful stance when lobbying to Government, particularly now when the industry's main employers are worried about issues such as swift payment and funding better training.