Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) has announced that Mark Gardham, regional director at Sir Robert McAlpine, is joining the board as Innovation chair.

The group brings together representatives to promote, showcase and support the development and implementation of innovative ways of working across the North East construction sector.

It will focus on three key areas, digital technology, sustainable construction and modern methods of construction.

Group members include Sir Robert McAlpine, Applebridge, Northumbria University, Ryder Architecture, NavVis, Silverstone Building Consultancy and McGovern & Co.

The sector theme groups which also include climate, people and value, are designed to showcase good practice across the region and beyond. By harnessing the wealth of knowledge and experience of its industry members and partners, the groups identify opportunities for the region’s development, building on existing good practice to deliver a more productive sector, delivering long term value and sustainability for society.

The theme groups build on the work of the OneVoice North East England construction strategy and action plan, launched in 2020, with the aim of creating a successful, sustainable and inclusive construction industry, equipped with the people and technology to deliver a carbon neutral, built environment, by 2050, if not before.

Mark, said: “I have been the lead for the Innovation group for nearly three years, working with a very ambitious team of industry professionals. Having now been appointed onto the CENE board as innovation chair, I am looking forward to building on our strong foundations.

“Our challenge is to raise the profile of the group, highlighting innovative products and processes being developed and used by organisations within the region.

“We will do this in a number of ways including bite size webinars, in-person multi-speaker seminars, panel discussions, collaborative workshops, site visits and engagement with research and funding bodies.

“We will also support and share national strategies and encourage collaboration with members.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive at CENE, said: “Innovation lies at the forefront of the built environment and Mark and the team have the experience and enthusiasm to help drive the group forward.

“Our four theme groups – people, value, climate and innovation are closely linked and collaboration will play a big role amongst the groups when it comes to sharing knowledge.

“On the 28 February, the group will be hosting an in-personal presentation and panel discussion. The topic area is sustainable construction with a focus on low carbon materials. This will be led by Andy Ray, group operations director at Applebridge, with speakers from Material Evolution, UniBlock, and Low Carbon Materials, which was recently shortlisted in The Earthshot Prize.