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New engineering services alliance, Actuate UK launches

A new alliance for the UK engineering services sector has launched today (10 February) to deliver a single, consolidated voice for the sector.

Actuate UK is an alliance of eight leading trade, technology, research and professional bodies in engineering services which will champion industry change and collaboration to support the delivery of a safer, more productive and sustainable UK built environment.

Together with others in the industry, the UK Government and the Devolved Nations, Actuate UK will play a key role by supporting essential national initiatives. Initiatives such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Recovery Roadmap, the Construction Playbook and strategic economic plans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Building Safety reform and the drive for Zero Net Carbon.

It will lead the sector’s response to the Building Safety agenda and post-Covid Green Recovery, providing direction and championing the wider culture changes needed in the industry for their successful delivery.

Andy Mitchell CBE, Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council and CEO of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “I would like to welcome Actuate UK, the new engineering services sector alliance which is being launched today to bring collaboration and a coherent voice to a key part of our industry.

“Our industry has seen a lot of change over this past year, and the most positive change is the way that it has come together in dealing with the pandemic. Through the efforts of many in the industry, the Construction Leadership Council has achieved a lot that deals with the here and now, and whilst this isn’t over yet we can, and are turning our attentions to the future – one that is better, stronger and very ambitious with regard to what society needs of us. This means safer buildings and net zero target – two big issues that we have to get on top of – and it is clear that the engineering services sector has a big role to play in both of these. I very much look forward to the vital role that Actuate UK can and must play in moving this industry forward.”

Construction Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Cutting emissions, turbocharging productivity and maintaining staunch safety standards should be right at the heart of the UK build environment sector’s work. This new alliance will support those crucial ambitions, helping the industry build back better and greener.

“I look forward to working with the alliance through the Construction Leadership Council, as we examine the issues and opportunities facing the sector and wider economy.”

Actuate UK consists of:

· The Building Engineering and Services Association (BESA)

David Frise CEO of BESA said: “Engineering services make a building work, they bring it to life. And where ninety percent of people spend ninety percent of their time in a building, it is crucial for the economy and the physical and mental health of our citizens that buildings are safe and work properly.”

· The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA)

Julia Evans, CEO of BSRIA said: “To stand any chance of resolving the climate change emergency we need to act together now. Actuate UK brings the best in the sector together to focus on the issues crucial to the industry and contribute in partnership to resolving the big issues of the day.”

· The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Stephen Matthews, CEO of CIBSE said: “CIBSE looks forward to working more closely with our colleagues in Actuate UK to lead change in the engineering services sector to deliver safer buildings and economic renewal whilst reducing the carbon impact of our infrastructure and buildings.”

· ECA – Electrical and Engineering Services

Steve Bratt, CEO of ECA said: “If we are to build back better, faster and greener, maximising the potential of engineering services is critical. I am therefore delighted that the engineering services sector is coming together, right across the supply chain, to speak with one voice and ensure we play our part.”

· SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland

Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, said: “SELECT was a very keen and active participant in the work of the SEC Group both at UK but especially at Scottish level. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the new Actuate UK body as it broadens its footprint across a whole host of activities linked to our members’ work.”

· The Scottish and NI Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF)

Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of SNIPEF, said: “Actuate UK will give a welcome boost to our work in many areas and we look forward to working together, closely, and productively, in the future, not least in relation to the substantial amount of work undertaken by Scotland’s Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.”

· The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)

Russell Beattie, CEO of FETA, commented: “I am extremely pleased to see this longstanding aspiration come to fruition. There are numerous challenges to be faced and closer collaboration can only be a positive step as we drive forward together to achieve meaningful change.”

· The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)

Nick Mellor, Managing Director at Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) said: “The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) is delighted to be part of Actuate UK – an exciting new collaboration for the engineering services sector. Lifts and escalators have an essential role in actuating buildings and infrastructure.” 

The eight organisations bring a broad range of technical, practical and commercial expertise to focus on four strategically important themes – skills, building safety, carbon reduction and commercial issues in 2021.

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