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Minister hears from Lancashire merchant

WE ARE GRATEFUL to Peter Worthington of Builders Supplies (West Coast) for his involvement in the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Prosperity Board in recent years. The Board exists to bring together three Borough Councils to shape and drive economic development on the Fylde Coast. Peter is one of the local employers on the Board who bring a business perspective to inform decisions about town regeneration, transport and other economic projects.

Last month, Peter and other

business, local authority and university leaders took part in an invitation-only roundtable with DBEIS minister, Paul Scully MP, to discuss support for Lancashire businesses in the post-Covid economic recovery.

1½ million residents live in a county twice the size of Greater London with half of them in a 2-mile corridor along the Blackpool-Preston-Blackburn- Burnley-Colne railway line. Workers in aerospace (Preston) and the seaside holiday trade (Blackpool) have suffered badly

- and the condition of private housing is poor and classed as non-decent compared to the English average.

Peter told Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Businesses, of the role, value and importance of merchants - and property RMI makes up approx. a third of all construction activity. This is why the BMF and others are pressing government to adopt a National Retrofit Strategy.

The next BMF North-Western Regional Meeting is on Wednesday, 7 April.

BMF backs CLC’s Construct2Zero programme for industry change

THE BMF IS supporting CO2nstruct Zero, the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) response to the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, published in November 2020, which set out a path to Net Zero by 2050.

CO2nstruct Zero is the CLC’s cross industry change programme to drive carbon out of all parts of the construction supply chain by 2050. From manufacturing and design to construction and operation of assets, the programme sets out how the industry can together meet the Net Zero challenge. It uses the Climate Change Committee’s 6th Carbon budget to establish the priorities that frame the action plan and how we will collectively measure and hold ourselves to account. The BMF has announced the launch of its own Sustainability Forum to raise awareness amongst members and will be supporting the CO2nstruct Zero message at three milestone events this year – the BMF Members’ Day Conference in September, where

there will be a dedicated section on the drive to net zero; the BMF Parliamentary Reception in October, with the headline theme, Building a Sustainable Britain; and at the BMF All Industry Conference in November, where one of four themed workshops will be devoted to sustainability.

BMF members will be

encouraged to become Business Champions sharing their approach to delivering on the nine priority areas encompassed within CO2nstruct Zero. The priority areas include:

• Accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles

• Working with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock

• Scaling up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks

• Supporting the development of innovative low carbon materials (in particular concrete and steel)

April 2021

as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing processes and distribution • Maximising use of modern methods of construction and improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites. BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Over the past 12 months the construction industry demonstrated what can be achieved when it combined its effort as a single force to tackle Covid-19. In the lead up to the COP26 Climate Change Conference in November, the industry has another great opportunity to work together and make real progress in the Race for Zero. As manufacturers and merchants, BMF members are in the vanguard of the supply chain and have a vital role to play in championing and delivering the changes necessary for success.”

CLC sector-wide plans will benefit all, says BMF

THE CONSTRUCTION LEADERSHIP Council’s Industry Skills Plan for the UK Construction Sector 2021- 25, which sets out the key skills challenges facing construction and how they will be tackled, has been welcomed by the BMF. Traditionally there has been a narrow definition of the construction industry, limited to those who construct, repair and maintain buildings. The CLC plan sets out a series of clear actions and commitments for both industry and Government to help meet these challenges, grouped under the following four areas: Careers; Standards and Qualifications; Training, Education and Development; and Culture and Working Environment. Commitments include: • Creating Talent View, a one- stop-shop portal for new entrants • Recruiting 7,000 construction STEM Ambassadors • Developing an industry standard for work experience • Producing competence frameworks

• New training standards for Net Zero and Smart Construction • A pledge to promote direct employment.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “This is a plan for the broader construction industry, encompassing a total workforce of over 3.5million people. It can only benefit the whole industry to work together with Government and education bodies to develop appropriate pathways from schools, further education, higher education, as well as for adults changing careers, into every aspect of construction.” Copies are available at https://www.


uploads/2021/03/B06322_CLC_ SkillsPlan_v27.pdf.


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