As a key part of its ongoing mission to find solutions to systemic supply chain issues, the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) is making an industry-wide appeal to manufacturers to support the building sector’s crucial recovery.
Working with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, it is holding a major virtual event to which all the main construction players and manufacturing organisations have an open invitation.
Entitled Scottish Manufacturing – the Opportunity for Construction, the interactive webinar will be held on Tuesday, August 31, from 10 to 11.15am, and the keynote speaker will be the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Mr Ivan McKee.
The online gathering will be of vital importance at a time when the construction industry is facing a global materials shortage as countries race to make up ground lost in 2020.
UK construction activity levels are at a seven-year high and costs are rising at the fastest pace for 24 years. The industry also faces an unprecedented retrofit challenge as it seeks to deliver a net zero built environment in response to the climate emergency.
Delegates will hear from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government about the scope and scale of the opportunities available to manufacturers to not only fill current supply chain gaps but to create sustainable new markets and bolster long-term raw material security by promoting home-grown materials and products.
Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the executive group of the CLF, said, said: “There is no doubt that the construction industry in Scotland is facing a challenging situation with continuing supply chain interruption and we believe that the country’s manufacturing and resource capability must hold an important part of the solution.
“We want to use this event to map the supply chain landscape and articulate the opportunities for manufacturers in terms of new technologies which they can adopt in their businesses to increase their capacity, attractiveness and competitiveness.
“Great strides have already been made in off-site manufacturing techniques which increase speed and efficiency of construction and successful demonstrator projects are showing terrific potential for the use of home-grown timber.”
One example of that is a project led by CSIC, with a number of other partners, which has secured funding from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to prove the business case for using Scottish timber to create the structural elements of buildings.
The demonstrator project at CSIC’s innovation factory in Hamilton could ultimately lead to the mainstream use of home-grown timber in Scottish and the rest of the UK construction, as well as the development of the country’s first engineered timber manufacturing plant.
The CLF, a collaboration established in March 2019 between Construction Scotland and the Scottish Government, has also unveiled a programme designed to help the sector redirect itself away from dependence on imports as part of its Recovery Plan.
Interested parties can register for the virtual event at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1519275897520521997