Helping build for the future and sustain local businesses.
MEP Malcolm Harbour CBE is backing an initiative that Coventry University is leading to support sustainable construction and boost local building businesses.
Mr Harbour, Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands and Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, visited the University on Friday 30 August to view first-hand the work of its Sustainable Buildings Future (SBF) project.
Financed by Coventry University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the SBF project provides business advice and specialist support on the use of new sustainable and green building technologies to West Midlands based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) operating within the construction sector.
Mr Harbour met with the SBF project team along with industry professionals during the course of his visit, to view the facilities and services on offer and to learn about its ongoing efforts to help SMEs to engage with emerging technologies and so enhance and increase their building activities.
Discussions also focussed around the vital role that these small, local building companies can play in construction led economic growth. The meeting took place ahead of dedicated workshops that the SBF project is running in partnership with the Modern Masonry Alliance for local SMEs in the house building sector.
Entitled “Putting the ‘Local’ Back into House Building”, these free events taking place in October and November, will present the business case for a sustained nationwide house building programme, explain the market opportunities that are emerging as a result of recent initiatives and incentives, and outline how local builders can tap into these openings.
With input from local government, trade bodies, academic specialists, industry leaders and financial experts, the workshops are also geared towards helping SMEs overcome the obstacles that may be preventing them from developing their house building activities.
The West Midlands MEP said : “Stimulating growth while reducing our carbon footprint and addressing the needs of a growing population are some of the major challenges that we face in Europe. The construction sector will play a key role in tackling these issues head on. Input from small and medium sized enterprises are critical as they make such up a significant proportion of the sector so it’s important that they are assisted in their endeavours. I’m encouraged that European support is going into projects such as the Sustainable Building Futures, which is engaging with these companies at a local level. ”
Further information about the work of the Sustainable Building Futures project and the services it offers, including details of forthcoming events and workshops, is available at www.coventry.ac.uk/sbf.