A new Construction Council is to be set up by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in an attempt to provide 'one unified voice' on issues affecting the construction industry.
The new council, chaired by Carillion chief executive and current chairman of the CBI's Public Services Strategy Board John McDonough, will represent civil engineers, house builders, component and product manufacturers, designers and support services suppliers from September.
Announcing the plan today, the CBI's director-general, Richard Lambert, said: "The UK construction industry consists of over 250,000 firms, employing 2.1M people in a wide variety of roles, and accounts for almost 9% of GDP. Until now, this important industry has not had the single unified voice it deserves.
"The Construction Council will work closely with the major trade bodies to strengthen their efforts to represent the construction industry and ensure its concerns are clearly heard," he added.
The new body's wide remit is expected to complement that of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), covering the energy sector, land use planning, procurement, skills, climate change and economic issues with regard to construction.
John McDonough also commented: "While many companies continue to enjoy good markets in the UK and overseas, others, particularly those with exposure to the UK residential market, are facing challenging times. Setting up the new Construction Council is, therefore, particularly timely.
"The Council's new strategic role at the heart of the CBI will enable the whole sector to benefit from the CBI's unrivalled access at the highest levels in Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels."