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CESW Construction and Housing Summit

Thursday 16th November 2023  8:30am – 5pmExeter College Future Skills Centre, Exeter Airport Industrial Estate, EX5 2LJ

Our summit will feature a series of engaging panel discussions on key topics in the housing and construction industry. This is a unique opportunity for all of us to come together, share our knowledge, and learn from one another. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Insightful Panel Sessions: Our expert panellists will delve into highly relevant industry topics, providing valuable insights and perspectives. These discussions will not only broaden your understanding but also spark innovative ideas for your work.
  • Voice Your Thoughts: This event is not just about listening; it’s about active participation. We encourage all attendees to share their experiences and thoughts during the panel sessions. Your input is vital, and we want to hear from you.
  • Creating Best Practice Content: The knowledge shared during the summit will be invaluable in creating best practice content for our industry. Your contributions will help shape the future of housing and construction practices.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow industry professionals, CESW members, and exhibitors. Building strong relationships and partnerships is essential, and this event provides the perfect platform for networking.


8.30 am Registration, Exhibitor Networking and Breakfast Rolls Bacon and Sausage baps will be provided  – kindly sponsored by Secretary Bird Ltd

9:15 am Welcome: Chair – Dan Macey (CESW Chair)

9:25am Keynote Speaker – Karl Tucker Chair of Great South West PRP, Chair Yeo Valley Farms Ltd, Chair HotSW LEP

9:45 am Environmental:  – Chaired By Ben Sharples – (Michelmores) Neutrality, Phosphates, BNG, Water 

10:35 am  –  Leadership – Chaired by Don Armand – (SampsonArmand) Effective Leadership, Collaboration, Lean processes

11.20 am  –   Tea/Coffee & Networking   

11:50am  –  Supply Chain and Procurement  –  Chaired by Gemma Welsher (Willmott Dixon) Frameworks, Visibility of pipeline, Raw material costs, Offsite)

12:40 pm –  Building Safety:  Chaired by Liz Bennett (SID) The Building Safety Act, Engineering Safety, Designing out Risk, CDM

1.30 pm   –  Buffet Lunch & Networking  –  Exhibition room (Opportunity to have a go on the aviation emergency exit slide  –  SIM Hall)

2:30 pm  –  Housing Challenges –  Chaired by Richard Lankshear (Future Homes Hub) Planning Permission, Offsite, Building Regulations, Whole house emissions

3:20 pm Skills: Chaired by Mike Blakeley (Exeter Future Skills) Apprenticeships, Retrofit, Retention, Upskill, Emerging

4:05 pm   – Final Thoughts:  – Kevin Harris (CESW CEO)

4:15 pm – Conclude with Networking capacity

5:00 pm Depart

Exhibition Opportunities

If you wish to be an exhibitor, this event offers an excellent opportunity to showcase your products and services to a highly engaged and relevant audience. Be part of the event and gain visibility in the industry. Please contact should you wish to be present. Exhibitor places start from £250

Ticket Costs

  • CE National – Free of charge (unlimited tickets)
  • Gold Members – Free of charge (unlimited tickets)
  • Silver Members  –  2 Free of charge (extra places can be bought at £50 each by emailing
  • Bronze Members – 1 Free of charge (extra places can be bought at £75 each by emailing )
  • Individual Members – £75
  • Non-Members – £100

** All young professionals and students that accompany a colleague  –  £15 each**



Bridgwater & Taunton College

Southern Construction Framework

RGB Recruitment

LHC Design

Speaker Bios

Karl Tucker


Karl is the Non Executive Chair of Yeo Valley Ltd and Yeo Valley Farms Ltd. Karl has been with the Yeo Valley Family of Businesses since 1996 having joined from the Quarrying Industry and before that having served in the British Army. Karl has been a key member of the leadership team that has seen Yeo Valley grow to be the UK’s largest organic food brand and one of the largest, independent, family owned dairy businesses in the UK.

As well as his role at Yeo Valley Karl is the Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, Chair for the Great South West PRP and a commissioner of the SW Social Mobility Commission and is a Non Exec Director of a start up business, Remit Zero Ltd

Karl is also Chair of ‘South Bristol Youth’, a body working to raise the aspiration, motivation and attainment levels of the more disadvantaged young people of Bristol and Somerset.

Don Armand

Don was born and raised in Zimbabwe, before Moving over to South Africa where he attended Maritzburg college and UCT to study psychology and organisational psychology. Having a successful rugby career that saw him play for Stormers, Exeter Chiefs and England, Don gained invaluable experience to the inner workings of various high-performance environments, leaders and cultures, what worked and what did not.

Don Purchased a leadership development business which has foundations in Royal marines, MOD and Mi5, that allows him to combine the learns from his background and those of the business, drawing first hand on elements that do and don’t work in practice, as well as insights as to why leadership styles or process need careful attention to be effective.

Richard Lankshear

Richard is the Programme Director at the Future Homes Hub, overseeing the Future Homes Delivery Plan that brings the new homes sector together to create net zero homes and sustainable places.

Richard has built a career in innovative construction, first as a structural engineer designing complex structures in the UK, then specialising in offsite technologies before heading up the strategy function for a large steel manufacturer.

More recently he founded the NHBC Accepts service for Modern Methods of Construction, before moving to the Future Homes Hub. Richard is an active member of numerous industry groups including Smart Buildings (CLC), Solar Task force (DESNZ), Future Homes Standard Implementation Board (DLUHC) and the National Homes Quality Board Industry Panel.

Julia Pounds

Julia heads up the natural capital brokerage team at Savills, with a particular focus on nutrient neutrality and BNG. A farmers daughter born and bred in the South West, Julia works with landowners across the country to change land use, delivering mitigation solutions to the market at scale in order to free up housing delivery.

Paul Diamond

Paul Diamond, is the Managing Director of Ecological Surveys Ltd and is a Full Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM), a Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association (MArborA) and an Associate of the Landscape Institute (ALI).

Paul holds Protected Species Licences for: Bats (Class 2) Dormice (Class 1), Great Crested Newts (Class 1) and Barn Owl (Class 1). Paul is also an Associate Member of the Landscape Institute.

Giles Bradford

Giles joined his family’s business, Bradfords Building Supplies, in September 2019 after a career in the Royal Navy, management consultancy and commercial flying.  He quickly identified the need for both the business and wider sector to grasp sustainability and understand the crucial role that merchants specifically have to play in decarbonising our environment.

Giles leads the company’s sustainability programme, Building Sustainable Communities, which addresses internal progress to becoming a more sustainable business, as well as developing Bradfords’ proposition to meet the evolving requirement for materials solutions for the built environment.

He also chairs the Builders’ Merchants Federation sustainability working group, and is the driving force in the merchant sector for supply chain collaboration, with key foci on accelerating the adoption of more sustainable products as well as establishing a sector standard for responsible sourcing.  He also sits on the Green Construction Board.

Hayley Parker

Hayley has over 20 years’ experience working with SMEs and large corporates in senior roles across sales, operations and strategic planning in the UK and Internationally. This has included developing and delivering strategic and operational plans, leading large-scale change programmes, holding national accountability for compliance in an FCA regulated environment and leading and motivating sales teams.

As founder of OPS-BOX Group, Hayley is passionate about supporting businesses to achieve their potential. She has a very clear and precise understanding of the challenges that businesses face with the ability to turn a problem into an opportunity.

With her extensive knowledge, wide-ranging experience and inspired approach she has developed a reputation that’s built on reliability, respect and trust.

Justin Dodge

Justin, director and co-owner of Westcountry Land and Homes, is a seasoned land and property developer in Devon and Cornwall. Beginning his career in architecture, he quickly rose to the position of managing director at CSA Architects, which became a leading architectural practice in Cornwall. His design-focused approach led to over 1,000 projects, from small domestic works to large masterplans, featured in national publications like Grand Designs Magazine.

In 2009, he co-founded Westcountry Land, responsible for over 2,000 new homes on 40 sites in Devon and Cornwall. They’ve identified land for an additional 2,500 homes. Leveraging Justin’s land planning expertise, the company engages in various sectors, including traditional residential housing, high-end holiday rentals, conversions, new builds, and build-to-rent housing. They’re also involved in on-site retail investments with long-term leaseback arrangements, diversifying their property portfolio.

Andrea Hodges

I have spent over 15 years working in further and higher education with a passion for connecting students with skills development, networking, and employment opportunities so they can thrive. I currently oversee the University of Exeter’s student employment service, internships, graduate recruitment programme, and funding schemes.

I’m privileged to work with supportive employers in the southwest, from start-ups to large organisations across a range of sectors and connect them with the future workforce through student employment, graduate recruitment, and career mentoring. I regularly collaborate with organisations to support initiatives that aim to increase engagement in skills development in challenging areas.

David Craddock

David has over 35 years of property development and investment experience in Europe. He co-founded EBS Elk, a major offsite building producer. Under his leadership, EBS Elk constructed 1000+ units, including schools, student housing, and residential developments. He’s a Passiv Haus Trust founder.

David has built 40+ Low/Zero Carbon Homes using advanced offsite manufacturing and energy-efficient technology, outperforming SAP values by 53% and reducing running costs by 44%. He received accolades like Royal Institute of Town Planners and Sunday Times Awards.

David is a member of the Future Homes Hub Leadership Council, advising on 2025 building specs and carbon emissions. In 2019, he established his timber frame manufacturing facility. He won the Best Sustainable Development award at the 2021 British Homes and What House Awards, and a Silver Award for Best Small Housebuilder.

In November 2023, he is a finalist in the Sustainability category at the Brick Design Awards.

Ben Sharples

Ben is a Partner in Michelmores’ Agriculture team and heads up the firm’s Natural Capital Group. He is also qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and Valuer, bringing estate management, environmental and valuation expertise to his client offering. Ben has spent over 25 years advising clients on their use of the oldest asset, land, and is now assisting them with the emergence of the latest asset class in the form of natural capital.

Ben is recognised as a leading advisor in the emerging cross-sector discipline of natural capital, which has come to the fore as we apply an economic lens to the world’s natural assets, with the ultimate goal of achieving net zero. The change taking place in the agriculture industry alone is being heralded as the ‘fourth agricultural revolution’ and Ben is advising clients on this emerging area of the law and considering how these changes affect clients’ long-term strategies.

Ben was one of the first lawyers to engage with emergent policy on natural capital and has already completed numerous deals in this space. Ben has been the architect in several novel natural capital-related schemes that have now become the norm.

Natalie King

Natalie King is the Operations Director and Vice Principal at AccXel; the UK’s first industry-led construction school, led with her sister, Nicola Bird.

Having qualified as a Barrister, Natalie also has a postgraduate diploma in town planning, and a Masters in Business Administration. Natalie and Nicola’s drivers for building AccXel are to change construction education and upskilling, making construction an aspirational career choice and to address issues of diversity and inclusivity. In just their 2nd year since opening AccXel, they are disrupting and changemaking in construction to truly address the skills crisis through strategic collaborations and a relentless focus on the needs of employers.

The AccXel mission is simple: To Support People To Construct The Future.

Tony Drake

Tony is the Director at Fenster, a window and door manufacturing company. Fenster specializes in high-quality PVC & Aluminium products, predominantly serving the residential market. Founded in 2006, he brings extensive experience from the window industry.

Throughout his career, Tony has embraced resilience, adaptability, and continuous learning, staying at the forefront of the ever-changing construction industry. This commitment to innovation has propelled Fenster’s sustained growth and success.

Tony’s focus remains on customers and colleagues, evident in the excellence of products and projects. What sets Fenster apart is a dedication to cultivating a robust, collaborative work environment. His role involves active engagement with colleagues and customers, understanding their needs, and collectively working towards goals. Witnessing the team’s growth and excellence has been profoundly rewarding.

Howard Betts

Howard possesses 35 plus years of expertise in Leadership and Organisational Development, serving profit and not-for-profit sectors nationally and globally. His strategic and operational proficiency shines in key areas:

  • Leadership Capability Development.
  • Fostering Collaboration and Collaborative Cultures.
  • Partnering, Alliancing, and Joint Venturing.
  • Personal and Organisational Change, particularly transformation.
  • Cultural Change.
  • Coaching and High-Performance Coaching.
  • 1:1 executive coaching.

In addition to independent work, Howard contributed to the University of Exeter’s MBA program for 14 years. He co-founded the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter in 1994, where he played a pivotal role in creating and delivering the world’s first Masters Leadership program for a decade. He also initiated the University’s Coaching for Excellence Programme.

Howard’s research led to the ‘Beliefs and Attitudes Mindset’© questionnaire, helping individuals understand how their mindset impacts their effectiveness. He’s involved in LeadersMeets Limited and Executive Development.

Liz Bennett

Liz, with her qualifications and extensive experience, is the driving force behind Safety in Design Ltd [SID]. She is dedicated to simplifying complexity and guiding individuals to practical solutions for effective health and safety.

Throughout her career, Liz has achieved significant milestones:

  • As the inaugural Group Safety Manager for Atkins during its rapid growth and public offering, she established safety management systems, facilitated training, and aided acquisition due diligence.
  • She played a pivotal role in creating in collaboration with AA, RAC, the Police, and the then Highways Agency, transforming public behavior on fast roads, enhancing safety, and reducing congestion.
  • Liz initiated, overseeing free Design Guides for small design practices, stemming from an HSE-led initiative.
  • Her role as Interim Head of Health and Safety for LOCOG for the London 2012 organizing committee involved building capabilities, training a diverse global workforce, and ensuring successful, high-profile events nationwide.
  • She leads the Design for Health Task Group, focusing on enhancing health outcomes in construction projects.
  • Liz conducts CDM 2015 training for various organizations and engages in research for HSE, EPSRC, and B&CE Trust.

Kingsley Clarke

Kingsley joined the SCF team in February 2018, based out of the Exeter office Kingsley has responsibility for heading up the South west region. Previously Kingsley held senior roles within the Estates team at Devon County Council and was responsible for overseeing a large capital and revenue programme.

Kingsley is a big believer in collaborative working and 2 stage open book procurement and joined the SCF team with a wealth of experience in managing contractor relationships.

Richard Voke

Richard is a lawyer of 22 years with a national reputation.  His legal and pre-lawyer experience provides him with a unique perspective in handling high profile cases including fatalities and major pollution incidents. Before becoming a lawyer Richard who has an MSc in Environmental Toxicology, spent 8 years in the HSE major hazard division as an inspector/investigator prosecuting his own cases. He followed this up with some time as a senior risk management consultant with the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

He is at present defending in the investigation of 4 industrial fatalities at various stages in the process.  He also provides senior management training and is a visiting research fellow in the Civil engineering department of Bristol University

Tanya Loosemore

Recruiting into the Construction, Property & Engineering sector for over 20 years, I have spent the majority of my career at RGB Recruitment, with early stints in Estate Agency. Established in 1998, the business has grown into a well respected and professional recruitment partner for a wide range of contractors, design practices, consultants and clients across the South West and beyond. Being recognised as finalists for Recruiters Engineering Agency of the Year and Winners of Exeter Property Awards Supplier and Services category highlights our commitment to delivering a high quality service.

As Managing Director for RGB and chair of Constructing Excellence Devon, I have a huge sense of responsibility and believe in delivering a positive impact to our community and the construction industry we are supporting.

In my limited spare time, I have a little boy, 3 dogs and a pony alongside a rather large renovation project that keep me busy

James Bromley

With a 20-year career at Laing O’Rourke, James excels in delivering commercial success. Currently serving as the Commercial Director for Hinkley Point C Main Civils Works in the Bouygues Travaux Publics and Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture, he manages Europe’s largest construction project.

As a chartered Commercial Director, James combines corporate-level, functional, and operational leadership expertise. He has worked across diverse sectors, including nuclear, infrastructure, healthcare, PFI, education, data centers, and more.

James consistently adds value by successfully delivering projects for Laing O’Rourke’s repeat clients. He’s passionate about achieving commercial and technical excellence through collaboration and Modern Methods of Construction. James leads commercial digital and data strategies, optimizing performance across a wide portfolio, with a focus on NEC & JCT contract forms.

Gemma Welsher


Gemma Welsher began her career as a Management Trainee at AMEC Construction Ltd while pursuing a HND in Quantity Surveying. Surprisingly, Gemma discovered her passion for surveying at AMEC, despite not excelling in mathematics during her school years.

She gained diverse experience in sectors like hospitals, hotels, commercial, education, and retail developments through positions at Wates, Midas, and Pearce Retail. In 2006, Gemma joined Willmott Dixon as a senior project surveyor for the iconic Bristol Beacon project.

After having her children, Alisha in 2008 and Joshua, she took a two-year sabbatical in Switzerland, maintaining a part-time freelance role with WDC from the Alps. Upon returning to the UK in 2012, Gemma became the Commercial Manager and later transitioned into the role of Preconstruction Manager. In 2018, she was appointed Procurement Director for Willmott Dixon Wales and the West, overseeing South Wales and South East England. Gemma is known for her love of gin and prosecco and is passionate about developing people, promoting fair procurement processes, and sharing industry best practices.

David Jones

David, a dual-qualified Chartered Planner and Chartered Surveyor, offers strategic guidance to landowners and promoters. His services encompass viability assessments, planning applications, appeals, land promotion, expert witness reports, environmental impact assessments, and historic environment advice. With a focus on residential, leisure, commercial, and education projects, he possesses a deep understanding of market conditions and development opportunities.

Notable achievements include securing planning permission for mixed-use schemes, master planning for redevelopment projects, and advocacy for urban extensions. David also provides consulting services to prestigious institutions and advises on property portfolios. As the head of Planning at Evans Jones, he excels in guiding site promotion, assessing viability, and handling contentious applications and appeals.

Adam Eaton

Adam, a Chartered Engineer with Member status (MIFireE) in the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), brings a wealth of experience to the field of Fire Engineering. His impressive portfolio spans a wide spectrum of projects, both within the UK and on the global stage.

Notably, he’s been involved in significant endeavours, ranging from the design of 45,000-seat World Cup Stadia in Qatar to the development of towering residential buildings reaching 160 meters in the UK. One particularly noteworthy project involved a large-scale 1,400-home development in Birmingham, originally conceived as the venue for the Athletes Village during the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Adam’s proficiency extends across various Fire Engineering techniques, including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), evacuation modeling, and smoke control calculations, showcasing his adaptability and well-rounded expertise in the field.

Sarah Frossell

Sarah is an organisational consultant, leadership and team coach and facilitator. She currently specialises in engaging and developing high performing teams and supporting senior individuals to identify and then work to their full potential as they introduce and pursue Lean transformations.

Leadership, Personal Development, Change, Communication and Strategy is the focus of much of what she has done for the past 30 years. She has worked with top teams to turn around failing businesses, fully engage their people, ensuring that they remain resilient, agile, at the top of their games, and able to make good decisions when under extreme threat.

Her clients, past and present, include: IBM, British Airways, BAA, NHS England, MOD, Jacobs Engineering, Yorkshire Water, HMRC, BCG, Hyde Housing, Partners for Islington, GDBA. the BBC

Mike Blakely

For the past nine years, Mike has led Exeter College’s Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement directorate, focusing on Future Skills and addressing future skills needs. In November 2022, he was excited to lead the apprenticeship team when the college maintained its Outstanding Ofsted status. Under his leadership, the number of apprenticeships has more than doubled, with over 1800 apprentices at any given time and a business network of over 1010 businesses. Exeter College has been the top-rated further education college in the South-West for employer satisfaction for two years.

Mike’s influence extends beyond the South-West, as he supports the entire GWR network from Penzance to Paddington. He serves as Vice Chair of GCAP, advocating for green construction education and chairs the Devon and Cornwall Training Provider Network. Mike also leads efforts to address future skills challenges in collaboration with employer and industry partners. Additionally, he chaired a successful charity effort, raising over £150,000, and has been a dedicated father to triplets for the past 15 years.


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Event Details

  • Date: 16th November
  • Time: 8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Cost: Free – £100.00
  • Event Category: Regional
  • Venue: Exeter College Future Skills Centre
  • Map Link: + Google Map


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Name Company
Andrea Hodges Exeter University
Ben Sharples Michelmores
David Craddock VerdeGO Group
David Jones Evans Jones
Don Armand SampsonArmand
Gemma Welsher Willmott Dixon
Giles Bradford Bradfords Building Supplies
Hayley Parker Opsbox
Howard Betts Leadersmeets
James Bromley Bylor
Justin Dodge Westcountry Land and Homes
Karl Tucker Great South West PRP
Kingsley Clarke SCF Frameworks
Liz Bennett Safety in Design
Mike Blakeley Exeter Future Skills
Natalie King Accxel
Paul Diamond Ecological Surveys Ltd
Richard Lankshear Future Homes Hub
Richard Voke Temple Bright
Sarah Frossell Frossell Partners
Tanya Loosemore RGB Recruitment
Tony Drake Fenster

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