Funding boost for regions construction industry


The West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence (WMCCE) promotes excellence and best practice across the sector and has acquired financial support from Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The funding will help WMCCE deliver an innovative programme of business improvement services for the region’s construction industry through to the end of 2011. It is hoped that these new initiatives will lead to a greater efficiency of supply chains and increased competitiveness among the construction industry in the region.

The University of Wolverhampton, which manages WMCCE and provides valuable support resource including funding, will help to deliver these projects alongside partners which include Business Link West Midlands.

Professor Ian Oakes, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Investment and Development at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding as it will allow us to continue to deliver on our commitment of providing quality assistance to the region’s hard-pressed construction industry.

“The funding means we can work alongside our industry partners to help give the sector a boost especially during these tough times. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with organisations who share our commitment to developing people and skills, pioneering new technologies and promoting best practice to help the West Midlands maintain a competitive edge in the construction sector.”

In the months ahead WMCCE will be at the forefront of working with Business Link West Midlands and Manufacturing Advisory Service, West Midlands (MAS-WM). It will roll out new strategies which aim to position the region as an international leader in sustainable technologies and exploit the region’s advanced manufacturing capabilities in new construction techniques like off-site manufacture, which already accounts for 15 per cent of the UK market share and proves to be an area of growth.

Phil Wilson, Operations Director at WMCCE, said: “We are looking forward to getting our exciting plans underway as quickly as possible so we can provide essential support at a time of real need for local construction companies.“

Since its formation in 2005, WMCCE has helped more than 500 of the region’s construction SMEs to improve their competitive edge and supported them as the construction sector has faced increasing economic pressures.

Michael Ciotkowski, Building Technologies Cluster Manager at Advantage West Midlands, said: “WMCCE provides essential support to businesses looking for practical ways to ride out the current economic storm. The new cluster plan, which WMCCE’s work directly supports, will sustain the region’s construction industry by focusing on three objectives; developing new markets, stimulating new products and promoting best practice.”

Among the companies that have directly benefited from WMCCE’s network of partners is Telford-based J & A Stevenson Ltd who have won a substantial contract with Tesco's to supply non-slip flooring for their store expansion programme.

Adrian Stevenson, Director at J&A Stevenson, said: "The consultancy support and guidance from WMCCE has been invaluable and came at exactly the right time for us. Our business was formed two years ago with three people and we now employ over 20 people. On the back of the support from WMCCE we are now in a position to tender for bigger contracts.”

Further information

Notes to editor:

The West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence (WMCCE) is one of the 12 regional Centres of Constructing Excellence across the UK which promotes best practice and innovation in the construction and the built environment industry.

WMCCE is part-funded by Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund. The Centre is supported by the University of Wolverhampton. It offers subsidised business improvement services which aim to help companies increase productivity, improve business processes, implement innovative technologies, adopt best practice and train the workforce.

Advantage West Midlands is the Regional Development Agency (RDA) for the West Midlands. One of nine RDAs in England established to transform the English regions through sustainable economic development, AWM drives economic development by identifying where the greatest impact can be made either by targeting need or investing in success

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