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Coming out of COVID – CE is driving the change agenda

The 2021 CESW Construction Summit 

Kindly sponsored by SWPA


  • 9.00am Registration
  • 9.30am Welcome – Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive, CESW
  • 9.40am Building Safety Charter – Gary Townsend Vila, BSF Charter Strategic Lead
  • 10.00am Value Toolkit – Ian Nicholson, Value Delivery Lead at Construction Innovation Hub
  • 10.20am CLC Construct Zero – Andrew Carpenter, Board Member CLC Construct Zero
  • 10.40am Overcoming blockers to delivering Offsite – Mary Bennell, SWPA
  • 11.00am Tea/coffee
  • 11.20amm Building Skills for Net Zero – Laurence Stone, CITB
  • 11.40am Development of green skills in the greater Exeter area – Mike Blakely, Exeter College
  • 12.00pm Understanding of the design responsibility matrix post Grenfell – AJ Eaton, Mi-Space
  • 12.20pm Guide to appointing an architect – Stephen Homer, Ashfords
  • 12.40pm Facilitated Workshop: How our ‘Building Family’ models can best support industry in delivering net zero
    • Emma Hewitt, Lead Officer for HoSW LEP Construction Skills & Building Plymouth
    • Dawn Chamberlain, Building Greater Exeter
    • Helena Davison, Building Torbay
  • 1pm Sandwich Lunch


Gary Townsend Vila

Gary has over 25 years experience of working as a senior executive in the public, central and local government and not-for-profit sectors in a range of strategy, communications, corporate affairs and organisational development roles. He was formerly Deputy Chief Executive at Creative Skillset the Sector Skills Council for the Creative Industries. He joined Building a Safer Future Charter at the outset and worked with Chief Executive Amanda Long to develop the detailed proposals to Early Adopters and MHCLG to become administrative partner of the Building a Safer Future Charter. Gary has been leading the work to develop the Charter’s benchmarking and independent verification framework and Charter Champion Company Status.

Ian Nicholson

I trained originally as a civil engineer over 30 years ago and have spent the whole of that working within the construction industry in a variety of roles. 20 years ago I developed an interest in environment and sustainability and retrained firstly with a BSc in Water and Environmental Management and then an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice. Since then I have had the privilege of working with across the industry on many projects to help advance the delivery of more sustainable construction.

Some of my more notable achievements include:
• Part of the team that led the research, development and subsequent operation of the CEEQUAL rating and awards scheme for infrastructure.
• One of the founders of the Supply Chain Sustainability School
• Taking a leading role in the understanding what responsible sourcing of construction products means in practice, including assisting in the development of the BES6001 and parallel EcoReinforcement standard.
• Founder member of the Action Programme for Responsible Sourcing (APRES) network.
• Leading collaborative research projects such as development of the CIRIA Handbook on “Minimising risk of responsible sourcing” and the APRES guide “Ethical sourcing a designers guide”.

Mary Bennell

Mary is the Director of the  South West Procurement Alliance based in Exeter, the regional arm of LHC a national construction procurement organisation. SWPA is a not for profit organisation offering frameworks, Dynamic Purchasing Systems and procurement services  to the public sector. In her current role she promotes the development of new homes using offsite/ Modern Methods of Construction and ‘zero carbon homes ‘

Mary worked on the client side in social housing at a senior level  for over 25 years specialising in property, regeneration and  procurement. As a director of property in a number of organisations, she had overall responsibility  delivering large scale planned maintenance and improvement programmes and for ensuring compliance with statutory requirements for buildings and homes.

Laurence Stone

In my current role as CITB Customer Engagement Manager, I am responsible for influencing and enabling effective relationships with employers, stakeholders and key decision makers across the South West to ensure the construction industry has the skills it needs.

Mike Blakely

In his role at Exeter College, Mike Blakeley oversees the delivery of 2,000 apprenticeships at any one time, from Penzance to Paddington.  His team works with 950 businesses, with apprentices gaining skills and training across 90 different subjects. In addition, Mike works with some of the players of Exeter Chiefs to develop their second career skills.  He has been instrumental in the launch of GOAT larger, a partnership between England International Luke Cowan Dickie and former chief, Harry Strong.

AJ Eaton

AJ has worked in the social housing sector since leaving university in the 90’s. Having worked on both the client and now the service provider side, he has a unique insight to the sector. AJ is a statutory director at Mi-space and over the past four years has led a team who have tripled the turn over of the division and established a reputation for delivering our clients visions and values. During his time at Connaught he set up and ran large outsourced asset management contracts and joint venture companies.

Stephen Homer

Stephen is a Partner and Head of Adjudication and Arbitration Services.

He specialises in construction procurement and contentious construction and engineering matters including projects support and drafting and negotiating construction contracts, court proceedings, adjudications and professional negligence claims.

Stephen has over 20 years’ experience. He has recently acted for a number of major UK Contractors as well as developers, banks, local authorities, utility companies and consultants providing contentious and non-contentious construction law advice in a number of sectors including the energy sector.

Stephen is a construction adjudicator on a number of industry panels, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a practising mediator.

Dawn Chamberlain

Dawn joined the Building Greater Exeter team in March 2019. Dawn supports the local construction industry by partnering with different companies and organisations to engage and inspire more people to work in the sector. Building Greater Exeter is focused on supporting the construction sector across Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge to address the skills and recruitment challenges it faces. Dawn’s previous marketing and project management roles included developing strategic partnerships with industry partners and government agencies in property and tourism.

Emma Hewitt

Emma joined the team in October 2015 and currently works as Skills Lead for Plymouth City Council. She works across Building Plymouth and Skills Launchpad Plymouth

Working on behalf of the Building Plymouth project sponsors, she is responsible for increasing awareness about the career opportunities across construction and the built environment, connecting local people with employers and leading activities to increase skilled labour including managing local Employment and Skills Plans.

Emma’s involvement in Skills Launchpad Plymouth has taken it from inception to creation. She continues to work hard with skills stakeholders across the city.

Helena Davison

Demand for construction skills and labour is already high on a local and national level, and is set to grow due to the high average age of workers in the industry and the wider skills and labour shortages currently experienced in many sectors.

Torbay’s recent capital funding bid success presents an exciting opportunity to improve the physical and economic regeneration of the Bay; added to the significant private sector investment into new-build hotel and housing projects.

The Building Torbay initiative aims to increase the level of construction skills in Torbay to help deliver regeneration projects and provide high-value, rewarding careers for Torbay residents.

Event Details

  • Date: 17th November
  • Time: 9:00am - 1:00pm
  • Cost: £25 – £50
  • Event Category: Regional
  • Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
£ 25.00 + VAT
183 available
Non Members
£ 50.00 + VAT
183 available


Name Company
Gary Townsend Vila Building Safety Charter
Ian Nicholson Construction Innovation Hub
Andrew Carpenter CESW
Mary Bennell SWPA
Laurence Stone CITB
Dawn Chamberlain Building Greater Exeter
Mike Blakely Exeter College
AJ Eaton Mi-Space
Stephen Homer Ashfords

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