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Excitement runs high as UK Construction week opens its doors

With thousands of visitors descending on the Birmingham NEC, the first day of the inaugural UK Construction Week exceeded all expectations – bringing the entire industry together under one roof.

Filling five halls of the exhibition centre, more than 650 exhibitors have taken to the floor, including Cemex, SIG Insulation, DeWalt, Wilmott Dixon, Innasol, Hope Construction, ScrewFix, Kubota, Case Construction, Akzo Nobel, Savant, British Gypsum and many more, showcasing thousands of products and services.
Following a free early morning bacon roll for tradesmen and VIP guests, the packed schedule of activity got underway, offering visitors hundreds of opportunities to learn new skills, make new business contacts and research the latest products and materials.

At the Site Zone in the Build Show, the focus was on earning more money with sessions on apprenticeships, RHI incentives, alternative funding sources and opportunities in the education sector. In the BIM Prospects Theatre, one of the key sessions looked at the impending BIM Level 2 requirements, sharing useful advice on ensuring your business is ready.

Kicking things off on the Main Stage, architect and TV personality George Clarke called upon the government to tackle the housing crisis and skills shortage – two of the biggest challenges facing the industry today. George was followed on stage by Richard Bacon MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Place-Making, who delivered his take on these issues before handing over to Dr Peter Hansford, chief construction advisor to the government, who gave a detailed overview of government construction policy through to 2019.

Jo Marshall, Marketing Manager at Metsa Wood, commented: “The show has been great so far, we’ve had lots of visitors to the stand – from all different aspects of the industry, from the architects right through to the self builder.”

Bob Heller, National Sales Manager at Black Millwork, commented: “It’s been a really useful day for us because we’ve met a lot of people we wouldn’t normally come into contact with. Our usual market is the high end, bespoke and self build housing sector but we’ve had the opportunity today to speak to several of the larger, commercial house building companies, so we’re really interested to see how that pans out.”

The busy day of networking and socialising will be rounded off tonight by a cocktail evening in association with Construction Enquirer, with rugby star Austin Healey, live music and a charity casino.

Bringing together nine shows under one roof, UK Construction Week will be the biggest construction trade event the UK has seen in years. Taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 6 – 11 October (with the trade only days from 6 – 8 October) the event will unite 1,000 exhibitors with an expected audience of 55,000 visitors.