Construction Scotland’s inaugural conference to focus on innovation to drive growth

Nicola Sturgeon and Ed Monaghan

CONSTRUCTION Scotland is to host its inaugural conference on Tuesday 7 October at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, bringing together hundreds of the industry’s key influencers and decision makers from construction businesses of all sizes. 

The conference will launch the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre – a £9.5 million project to connect industry and academia to drive innovation in the construction sector, ensure long term sustainability and generate a greater economic impact for Scotland.  Ray O’Rourke, the chairman of internationally renowned and innovative engineering firm, Laing O’Rourke will be the keynote speaker.  

Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, Planning Minister, Derek Mackay and Minister for Youth Employment, Angela Constance will attend the event and take part in a Construction Summit.  

Chaired by Sally Magnusson, the conference will share an overview of Construction Scotland and the progress of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to date. Delegates will learn how they can work with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to drive growth within their own businesses through innovation, as well as how to access millions of pounds available to boost innovation in the sector.

Ed Monaghan, chairman of Construction Scotland, and Chief Executive of Mactaggart & Mickel, is encouraging as many people as possible from the construction industry to sign up for this free event. He said, “It has been a challenging time for everyone involved in construction, but as the outlook improves it is now up to us as a sector to move forward with confidence and effectively shape our own future. 

“Innovation is alive and well in Scotland and projects such as the delivery of the Athletes’ Village, the M74 extension and the replacement Forth crossing are clear evidence of that. But unfortunately those types of approaches are not the norm. We need to change that, we need to encourage everyone within the sector to embrace the opportunities available and ensure that we capitalise on this unique industry and academic partnership. This conference, and the launch of the Innovation Centre, will provide an ideal platform for us to do that.”

Mr. Monaghan’s comments were echoed by the interim chair of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Bill McBride. “The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, which is being funded by the Scottish Funding Council, will play a vital role in the future of our construction industry,” he said.

Bill, who is also Managing Director of Westcrowns CS Ltd continued, “Construction underpins everything we do – it creates our road networks, our hospitals, office buildings and our homes, it employs in excess of 170,000 people, that’s 10% of all Scottish jobs – in fact it would be fair to say that it is the platform for our whole economy. We look forward to sharing details of what the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre can do for construction businesses of all sizes right across the country. We are delighted that Ray O’Rourke and Scottish Ministers, including the Deputy First Minister, have agreed to participate in the event.  Everyone who comes along will leave much better informed about the great opportunity innovation represents to drive profit and growth in their respective businesses and also across the whole sector.”

Registration and attendance at the event is free. Spaces are filling up fast and those wishing to attend should visit as soon as possible to guarantee their place.