Press release

Government welcomes new Construction Leadership Council

The government has today (16 July 2015) welcomed business leaders to join ministers on the renewed Construction Leadership Council.


The council was created in 2013 to work between industry and government to identify and deliver actions to improve efficiency, skills and growth in UK construction.

Skills Minister Nick Boles (who co-chairs the council), said:

The construction industry recently saw its 24th month of consecutive year on year growth, and is key to our plan for increasing Britain’s productivity and prosperity.

We will work closely with the newly focussed Construction Leadership Council, with its top business expertise, to deliver that plan and drive growth for the sector and wider economy.

The new membership of the council sees a reduction from its previous 30 members to 12, in response to calls from the sector to make it more effective and business-focused. Members have been drawn from leading construction firms such as Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues UK.

The Council’s industry co-chair, David Higgins, said:

I’m delighted the government has responded to calls for a smaller, more business-focused Construction Leadership Council. The new Council of 12, with its business leaders from across the sector, will be best placed to drive the skills, innovation and productivity outcomes to help the industry build on its recent growth.

New Council member, Madani Sow, Chairman & CEO of Bouygues UK, said:

This is an exciting opportunity for Bouygues UK and the industry. The UK’s construction sector is growing and leading the way in many fields, but productivity and skills are big issues we need to address and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Council to achieve this.

The new Council will build on the work of the government’s Chief Construction Adviser, working closely with ministers to ensure the industry’s concerns and ambitions are addressed. As a result, the role of the Chief Construction Adviser will not be continued after the incumbent Peter Hansford’s tenure ends in November 2015.

New Council members include: Madani Sow (Bouygues UK), Anna Stewart (Laing O’Rourke), Mike Putnam (Skanska) and Andrew Wolstenholme (Crossrail). They will be joined by the Chair of UKTI’s Construction Advisory Group, a volume housebuilder, a supply chain small/medium business and the Council co-chairs: Skills Minister Nick Boles and Sir David Higgins, Executive Chair of High Speed 2.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The government has worked with David Higgins to move to a smaller, more business led construction council. Taking advice from the Chief Construction Adviser and industry, a small group of people has been identified whose seniority in business equips them to give leadership to the sector. The new Council represents a mix of businesses and broad range of perspectives on the construction industry.
  2. Council members will lead a specific workstream to deliver improvements to working practices in the industry:
    • skills – Anna Stewart
    • supply chain / business models – Madani Sow and small supply chain business
    • innovation – Andrew Wolstenholme
    • sustainable – Mike Putnam
    • trade – Chair of the UKTI Construction Sector Advisory Group
  3. The Chief Construction Adviser (CCA) role was created in 2008 to support joined-up working between government and industry, and to add expertise to the role of government as construction customer.
  4. Since that time, a Government Construction Strategy was developed with the launch of the Construction 2025 strategy and Construction Leadership Council. This has led to duplication with the role of the adviser in building on the successes of those who’ve held it.
  5. The new Construction Leadership Council will meet with ministers 4 times per year to advise and update on efforts to drive improved productivity and growth across the industry.
  6. The Council members have committed to attend the Council for a 2 year period.
  7. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will hold a permanent place on the Council. Other government departments will attend as determined by the agenda.
  8. Discussions have been opened with the Strategic Forum for Construction about identifying an individual who would connect the Forum to the Council and bring a manufacturing perspective.
Published 16 July 2015