Home News New trade association to champion engineering services sector

A new engineering services alliance, Actuate UK, has been formed by eight trade, technology, research and professional bodies in engineering services to champion change and collaboration. The new body replaces the Specialist Engineering Contractors Group (SEC Group) and intends to build on the commercial issues that SEC Group championed. 

Actuate UK says it want to be an agent for positive change, and supports the delivery of a safer, more productive and sustainable UK built environment. Together with others in the industry, the UK Government and the Devolved Nations, Actuate UK will play a key role by supporting essential national initiatives.  Initiatives such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Recovery Roadmap, the Construction Playbook and strategic economic plans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Building Safety reform and the drive for Zero Net Carbon.

It will lead the sector’s response to the Building Safety agenda and post-COVID Green Recovery, providing direction and championing the wider culture changes needed in the industry for their successful delivery.

While Actuate UK replaces SEC Group, Steve Bratt, chief executive at the ECA, stressed that Actuate UK will build on the commercial agenda that SEC Group so successfully campaigned for. He said: “Actuate UK has stretched the remit of SEC Group, which was more of a contractor initiative. However, we are actively involved in discussions surrounding payment, retentions and procurement.”

Actuate UK has been welcomed by industry leaders.

The latest construction minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, said:“Cutting emissions, turbocharging productivity and maintaining staunch safety standards should be right at the heart of the UK build environment sector’s work. This new alliance will support those crucial ambitions, helping the industry build back better and greener. I look forward to working with the alliance through the Construction Leadership Council, as we examine the issues and opportunities facing the sector and wider economy.”

Andy Mitchell CBE, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council and CEO of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “I would like to welcome Actuate UK, the new engineering services sector alliance which is being launched today to bring collaboration and a coherent voice to a key part of our industry.

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in Scottish Governmentalso welcomed Actuate UK:“We are using all the powers we have to rebuild a stronger, more resilient and sustainable economy for Scotland – with a laser focus on creating new, good, green jobs.

Ann Bentley, member of the CLC and Global Chairman of Rider Levett Bucknall added:  “The challenges for the industry are clear – to construct, repair and maintain sustainable buildings and infrastructure that work for the end-users, are good value for those paying for them, and that help us meet our net zero carbon aspirations.  We must also recognise our industry’s obligations to communities and, therefore, the enormous role we have in meeting all these challenges.  It is great to see such a widely representative group of Engineering Services organisations and their member companies coming together with such focus on changing things for the better.”

Actuate UK consists of:

  • The Building Engineering and Services Association(BESA)
  • The Building Services Research and Information Association(BSRIA)
  • The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers(CIBSE)
  • ECA – Electrical and Engineering Services
  • The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)
  • The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)
  • SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland
  • The Scottish and NI Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF)

The eight organisations bring a broad range of technical, practical and commercial expertise to focus on four strategically important themes – skills, building safety, carbon reduction and commercial issues in 2021.


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