Universities of Loughborough and Salford ready to support the Construction Roadmap to Recovery, published today

Loughborough University and the University of Salford are supporting a new industrial collaboration to help rebuild a better infrastructure and construction sector.

The sector has a critical role to play in restarting the nation’s road to recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a key driver of economic and social growth and a major employer across the whole of the UK.

This vital role is highlighted today (Monday June 1) by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which has published a three-stage plan – restart, reset and reinvention – for Construction Sector Recovery.  The plan aims to expand capabilities for infrastructure; housing; repairs, maintenance and improvement; and social and commercial buildings, envisaging a sector that will be more resilient and more capable of delivering the social, economic and environmental demands that are made upon it.

Prior to the pandemic, the Universities were already collaborating with industry, government and professional bodies to help facilitate fundamental shifts in the way the sector operates.

Building on the work it has developed with CLC, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH), and working closely with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Devolved Authorities and other stakeholders, Loughborough and Salford will map and develop existing and new capital and infrastructure investments into regional ‘living labs’.

These labs will demonstrate the application of existing research findings, and highlight new area for investigation, in the delivery of the large-scale projects which underpin the CLC’s recovery plan to increase prosperity across the UK.

Priority areas will include decarbonisation; modernisation through digital and manufacturing technologies; and delivering better, safer buildings. In parallel fundamental research on reinventing the industry will accelerate fulfilment of the goals of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Professor Andy Dainty, Dean of Architecture at Loughborough University and Peter McDermott, Professor of Construction Management at the University of Salford, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important initiative which promises to harness the collective capability of many academic and industry stakeholders. The changes in policy and practice already underway can be elevated and embedded in regional and local plans to help with “levelling-up”. In collaboration, we will support the sector in bouncing forward from Covid-19 by accelerating the pace of positive change that we were seeing prior to the pandemic.”

Keith Waller of the Construction Innovation Hub commented: “It is vitally important that the post-Covid-19 recovery is rooted firmly in new and better ways of doing things and not simply a return to business as usual. Leveraging this collective and world class academic capability through regional social infrastructure projects is an absolute must to generate this change for good.”

Hannah Vickers, ACE chief executive, added: “We looked at Germany – which has a single, streamlined process. By moving towards a similar Fraunhofer-like model in the UK, we can save many vulnerable businesses in our sector and also prepare for future regional and national growth through our world class academic capability. This capacity and knowledge will now focus on supporting the sector’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 20/89

The full report published by the Construction and Leadership Council can be viewed here: https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/government/clc-unveils-constructions-covid-19-recovery-plan-01-06-2020/

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.