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The results of this survey will help Build UK to improve the Journey from Education into Employment in the industry, and the deadline for responses is 4:00pm on Friday 8 July and all individual responses will be treated confidentially.

CLICK HERE to complete the survey

This year CESW supported and judged The Lego Competition for Primary Schools – We are excited that the winners have now been announced!

Exeter City Council’s Royal Albert Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) is launching a new exhibition this weekend from 18 June to 11 September – ‘Brick by Brick’ which will feature nine models from Exeter’s vibrant history, made out of LEGO®.

Building Greater Exeter teamed up with RAMM to host a competition for all the primary schools in Exeter, Teignbridge and East Devon. The aim was to engage and encourage pupils to think about construction in a fun and creative way and to raise awareness of the different roles in the sector.

Over 30 schools entered the competition is to ‘Design and build a model for Exeter’s future’. As well as producing their design from LEGO®, the pupils had to state:

The top three entries will have their model on display as part of the exhibition and all the schools keep the LEGO® for ongoing construction activities or clubs at their schools.

There was a panel of six judges from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art GalleryMorgan Sindall Group plc, SDS Engineering Consultants, Constructing Excellence South WestWillmott Dixon and Liveable Exeter.

The standard of entries was extremely high and the judges had a tough time picking just three from the 31 entries.

They were so impressed with the creativity the students displayed and the variety of models submitted, from ‘homes for the homeless and refugees, to space museums, aquariums and floating stages’, to name just a few.

The top three in alphabetical order:

With Starcross Primary School highly commended for their model of an eco-friendly building with roof garden and solar panels.

Celebration Weekend 18-19 June
To celebrate the participation and imagination of all the children that got involved with this competition, RAMM are hosting a celebration event this weekend to display as many models as possible.

Thanks to all the supporters of the competition which helped extend the reach to over 30 primary schools to receive LEGO®: Liveable Exeter, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon, SDS Engineering Consultants, Constructing Excellence SW, Exeter Science Park and Bam.

Museum entry is free. Brick by Brick exhibition tickets are priced from £2.50 to £4.50 and activities and events are bookable and priced individually.

More information and tickets available at

Are you passionate about best practise in Construction?  Could you be the new Building Safety chair?

Richard Kochanski is stepping down this month as Chair of the Building Safety Theme Group.
Richard has been a passionate and inspiring chair for the past few years and we will be sad to see him go.

Richard reflected on his time as chair and said “Being the chair of the building safety group has given me the opportunity to be with people who are passionate about doing the right thing. I have been impressed with how committed the theme group members are to improving best practice and embracing innovation to challenge the status quo. It is uplifting and educational to listen to these people and learn from each other.

One of my greatest pleasures has been working with a dedicated team of enthusiastic people on a Client’s Guide to Quality. The team is fun to be with and are focused on achieving improvements even with all the other conflicting pressures we all have to deal with.”

Please contact CESW CEO, Andrew Carpenter: if you are interested to be our next Chair person

The Queens platinum jubilee illustrated in vivid detail the scope and breadth of change that a single lifetime might experience. The queen herself has said as much, that we should all be prepared for more change more often than we might be comfortable with (I paraphrase).

It certainly feels to me that the pace of transition is quickening as world events distort market forces and compel us to adapt, improvise and overcome. Adaptive thinking from those of us in the construction sector needs to be matched with similarly fast paced changes in legislation, taxation, procurement, and client thinking. Scarcity of materials, cost uncertainty and a diminishing pool of skills and labour make responding to tenders an esoteric art form rather than an exercise in actual costs. This cannot end well.

However, this is not the first time and calls for a transformation in construction have been made before. As Churchill said, “the further backwards you look, the further forwards you can see”. In 1998 Sir Anthony Egan published a report entitled “Rethinking Construction” designed to make a construction sector fit for the new millennium. As we move further into that millennium with all its turmoil and change, the findings of that report seem even more relevant and imperative today.

One of the key themes of Egan is that of partnering. Working together to agree problem solving behaviours and find new ways of collaborating and supporting each-other rather than isolating and blaming. Of all our Queens strengths, her steady confidence in the positivity of the human spirit is something we would all do well to adopt. Perhaps then we might similarly shape our own legacies and be as well regarded as she is.

A Get It Right Initiative (GIRI) event recently addressed the question ‘How does the procurement phase affect our ability to reduce errors and improve productivity in construction’. One of the distinguished panellists at the event was Mark Farmer from Cast Consultancy, author of ‘Modernise or Die’ and Co-Chair of Constructing Excellence. He argued that poor procurement “is one of the reasons we keep spinning our gears as an industry”.

He added: “No one is breaking out of the cycle, no one is thinking differently about how we set the job up properly, about how we make procurement an integrated process beyond the transaction.” This prompted Martyn Jones revisit some of the past work of CESW’s Procurement & Productivity Theme Group and their attempt to identify the key principles of procurement and to integrate procurement seamlessly with implementation.

The members of the Procurement & Productivity Group had the long-held the view that effective procurement is the key to unlocking the potential in project teams and supply chains to improve quality and increase productivity. This included identifying, after much discussion back in 2019, what the group saw as the Top 10 Principles of Procurement. Here they are again:

  1. Clearly and unambiguously define what it is you want to procure
  2. Adopt the right procurement route for your desired outcomes
  3. Understand the risks that exist, and allocate them to whoever is best placed to manage them
  4. Select an appropriate standard Form of Contract limiting amendments to reflect agreed commercial arrangements
  5. Speak to Contractors and their Supply Chain as early on in the process as you can
  6. Carefully consider the size of the tender list – too many and tenderers will lose interest
  7. Allow sufficient time for the tender and tender review process
  8. Evaluate tender returns based on value, not on cheapest tender cost
  9. Commit to suppliers early to allow time for collaborative planning, value management and secure resources
  10. Provide feedback to the unsuccessful tenderers


But we went further, anticipating Mark Farmer’s view that “we need to make procurement an integrated process beyond the transaction”, by adding our Top 10 Principles of Implementation. We argued that having assembled the most appropriate team for the project using CESW’s Top 10 Principles of Procurement the project and supply chain partners should then commit to:


  1. As customers: continuing to clearly and unambiguously mandate and communicate our desired outcomes to key suppliers downstream in the supply chain
  2. As suppliers: making our upstream customers’ desired outcomes the central focus of our project and supply chain activity
  3. Creating an environment in which relationships are enhanced and supply chain partners work as collaboratively as possible within the chosen operating system and contractual and commercial arrangements
  4. Adopting a process-oriented approach that crosses organisational boundaries, focuses on values, goals and ends rather than actions and means, relates all processes to internal and external customer needs, and seeks out opportunities to reduce waste and add value
  5. Working to build mutual competitive advantage by fulfilling shared project and supply chain objectives whilst still meeting individual corporate objectives
  6. Incentivising and rewarding in ways that encourage the desired outcomes to be delivered to the required quality, on time and to budget, safely and without adversely affecting the health and wellbeing of people and harming the natural environment
  7. Working proactively to drive out opportunistic behaviour and conflict and facilitate the early resolution of potential issues and disputes
  8. Maintaining supplier accounts fairly and paying interim payments in full and in the agreed time and settling final accounts in a timely manner as set out in a mutually agreed Fair Payment Charter
  9. Providing constructive feedback and sharing learning on best practice, identifying areas for change and developing strategies for improvement
  10. Celebrating success and working successfully together again.


Clearly much has changed since 2019 when these principles were first mooted, including the evidence from the Grenfell enquiry and the Building Safety Bill gaining Royal Assent.  As an industry we are also seeing greater emphasis on the deployment of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) including more off-site production.  And not forgetting of course the growing imperative to address the climate crisis.

These drivers of change will continue to shape the way we go about procuring project teams and supply chains and how they can be led and managed to work more seamlessly and creatively.

We don’t view our Top 10 Procurement and Implementation Principles as being all-encompassing (as the title indicates, just the Top 10) or set in stone. We know they need to be constantly revisited, rethought and reshaped as necessary so that they remain fit for purpose in meeting changing circumstances. CESW and its Theme Groups continue to provide a vehicle for this vital work.

This piece was written by Martyn Jones

Weymouth Town Council is working with Hemingway Design and NEW Master planning to prepare a Vision and masterplan for the future of Weymouth Seafront.

The masterplan will focus on a 3 kilometre stretch of coastline, comprising the beach and Promenade from close to Weymouth Pavilion Theatre in the south, to Overcombe Beach in the north.

The purpose of the masterplan is to improve the built infrastructure (planters, benches, prom surface etc.) and heritage of the seafront and identify new commercial opportunities to meet visitor and resident needs.

Hemingway Design want to understand what residents, local business owners, and visitors think Weymouth seafront needs to make it a more enjoyable and inviting place to visit and spend time.

Please do take the opportunity to share your honest opinions with us via the survey HERE

A police-led company is aiming to help small businesses get themselves safer, for free. The South West Cyber Resilience Centre is particularly focused on the construction sector, which – with so many small contractors – is more vulnerable than most. Not only can small businesses ill afford the cost of a cyberattack, but they’re often used as a foothold to breach larger companies: one survey showed that 93% of larger businesses had been attacked last year via their junior partners.

SWCRC is part of a national network, funded by the Home Office and by private sector partners. This means that it doesn’t need to make money from the businesses that it protects. It gives them free guidance to get safer, support to implement it, and a 12 week programme of bite-sized steps for beginners. Every month, it provides an update on the latest threats, and there are webinars, podcasts and events to find out more.  

The company, which is led by serving police officers on behalf of the SW region, also has a unique offering via its student team, to provide training, to check the hackability of websites and IT systems, and to provide advice on resilience planning, all at low cost as part of the not-for-profit model. And SWCRC can also signpost reputable local cyber businesses if you need certification for government contracts, or urgent help because you’ve been breached.

We’re supported by regional business groups including the SW business council and Business West, and we’re keen to look after anyone who doesn’t know where to start. We’d also like to be supporting those larger companies who might have their own house in order, but would like some assistance in looking after their supply chain. (Because the last thing you need is one of your contractors emailing you malware once their own account has been breached).

We’re free, and we’re here to help. Find out more at , and let us know if you’d like a conversation.

The road to net zero is not an easy one, but social housing group, Sanctuary, is putting it at the forefront of its agenda.

Listen to the second episode in the ‘How We Live… Sustainably’ podcast series, where their head of affordable housing, Jacqueline Knox, is joined by Donna Williams, Group Director – Sustainability and Climate Change at social housing group – Sanctuary.

Head to their website HERE to tune in to the latest episode where they discuss the Greener Future Partnership that Sanctuary is now a part of,  the benefits the company and its customers are seeing from its approach to sustainability and a discussion about the operational practices Sanctuary is already working on, the organisation’s plans for the next 10 years and what social sustainability means to the business.

The social housing group currently invests around £1.4 million a year towards various sustainability projects that support the broader connection and resilience of its communities.

A group of construction leaders and professionals from across Bath attended a dedicated event to discuss how to combat some of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry.

The event was organised by Constructing Excellence South West, a member-led organisation designed to drive positive change in construction, and was chaired by Julia Davenport-Cooper, Partner at Temple Bright LLP.

Sponsored by global business insurer Gallagher, the evening was well attended by key clients, local authorities, developers and contractors who each shared their experiences of working within the industry.

Understanding how to navigate the challenges on climate crisis, building safety and attracting future skills and talent into the sector is a big focus throughout the region. So, the evening looked primarily at what can be done differently in these areas to make positive changes for the future of the industry.

Julia Davenport-Cooper, Chair of Constructing Excellence Bath Club, said: “It was a fantastic evening and marked one of the first times we were able to reunite as a club. Thank you to everyone who gave up their free time to attend and for being so open and honest during the discussions.

“A wide range of personal experiences, views and recommendations were shared across the room as participants unpicked climate crisis, building safety and future skills.

“Constructing Excellence South West is responsible for enabling us to hold events like this, and with the support of Gallagher it was a great success. We have lots of other events in the pipeline which will offer more opportunities to identify what changes can be made in our region, before rolling out fresh ideas and initiatives to the wider sector.”

Gallagher Managing Director, Bristol, Andy Ferguson added: ““All too often businesses work individually to tackle what’s actually a common challenge to all of us.  This event has shown how much more can be achieved when we come together and share our experiences of how we are adapting to change and embracing new ways of working.

“It was fantastic to be able to support this event and see the construction industry in Bath come together to drive forward positive change.”

This event forms part of a wider series of leadership gatherings which are being held in the South West region. The remaining sessions are scheduled to take place throughout the rest of the year in Taunton, Bournemouth, Swindon, Cheltenham, Exeter and Bristol.

The next Constructing Excellence Bath Club is an online webinar which looks at the ESG arena, with the leaders in this field highlighting how they believe it will be delivered in the sector or on projects. To sign-up to the event being held on Wednesday 15 June, visit:

To find out more about Constructing Excellence South West and its regional clubs, visit:

Construction professionals and leaders from across Plymouth and the surrounding areas came together to discuss combatting the main challenges currently facing the industry in the South West.

The event was organised by Constructing Excellence South West, a member-led organisation designed to drive positive change in construction, and was chaired by Peter Everitt, Senior Pre-Construction Manager at Kier Construction.

Held at St. Elizabeth’s House, Plympton, the event was sponsored by global business insurer Gallagher, and was well-attended by key members of the built environment community including architects, developers, contractors, local authorities and representatives from higher education.

The evening had a jam-packed agenda as participants openly discussed their experiences of working in the industry, and shared their recommendations on how to combat the climate crisis, building safety and procurement on value.

Peter Everitt, Vice Chair of the Constructing Excellence Devon Club, said: “This event forms part of a wider programme being rolled out by Constructing Excellence South West. We had an incredible turnout and the discussions across the room were both interesting and incredibly thought provoking.

“It was fantastic to see so many of the key players working within construction give up their free time to have an input into the various industry hot topics.

“As one of the largest contributors to the UK economy, construction plays a fundamental role so it’s important to look at what can be done to help the sector thrive – particularly after an unprecedented few years.

“By looking closely at what we can do as a region is a great starting point to see what works before rolling out new ideas and initiatives further afield.

“Thank you to Constructing Excellence South West who enable us to hold events like this and to Gallagher for sponsoring the evening and for helping to make it a great success.”

Ross Browne, Development Director for Gallagher, added: “We know from speaking to our clients that the construction industry is facing fundamental pressures and change.

“We’re pleased to be part of this event and support the built-environment community in Plymouth to work together in overcoming challenges and embracing new methods of construction and working.  It was clear from the discussions that there is a real drive in Plymouth to work together on these issues.”

This is the second in a series of leadership events which are being held in the South West region. The remaining sessions will be held in Taunton, Bournemouth, Swindon, Cheltenham, Exeter and Bristol.

To sign-up as a member of Constructing Excellence South West, visit:

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