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Building connections at the UK Infrastructure Show

Posted On: 8th May 2019

Bigger and better than ever before, on 30th April the UK Infrastructure Show was back at the NEC, Birmingham for its third year.

The UK’s leading infrastructure and supply chain event was once again a roaring success, connecting buyers and suppliers on the main stage of the sector.

This year, the event combined with the UK Public Sector Expo and Procurex National, with UKIS2019 seeing 1,400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five speakers in the Keynote Arena, six Public Sector Solutions Live speakers, four Networking & Collaboration Zones, a Product Showcase Exhibition and the wealth of knowledge demonstrated in the four skills development zones throughout the event.

With over £600bn and 700 projects on the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the show had a huge range of information and opportunities on offer from some of the biggest names and projects within the infrastructure arena.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period, as reflected in the attendance numbers and buoyancy amongst the infrastructure community.

The Keynote stage

The Keynote stage, hosting some of the major players in the infrastructure sector, was the focus of the event. A very popular area of the show, at times it was standing room only as people jostled to hear the latest from the National Infrastructure Commission, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, HS2, the Department for Transport and Scape Procure.

Chaired by Stephen Kinnell of supply chain specialists CompeteFor, key themes coming through the informative keynote speeches were the need for collaboration, innovation and a long-term joined-up approach.

First up, Phil Graham, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, addressed the audience. He discussed how important infrastructure is to the country, as a key driver of the economy and improver of change.

Phil Graham from National Infrastructure Commission

Matthew Vickerstaff, Interim Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, followed, discussing how delivery of the National Infrastructure Pipeline will be achieved, looking at strategic investment, infrastructure priorities, and the challenges in improving infrastructure performance.

An informative session from Mark Howard, HS2 Chief Engineer, was up next. As Europe’s biggest infrastructure project currently underway, HS2 is a flagship for the infrastructure sector. Mr Howard told the packed room, that up to this point, the amount of track already built equals half the length of the UK – giving us some idea of the huge undertaking this project is.

Once again, the theme of collaboration and a joined up approach was key, with the support of organisations such as the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse crucial to successful delivery.

The next session was held by Catherine de Marco, Deputy Director Infrastructure, Skills and Efficiency at Department for Transport. Ms de Marco focused on the issues of skilled labour and the requirement for new, technology-minded individuals to be enticed into the construction, transport and infrastructure sectors.

Last to the podium was Adrian Hill, Acting Director of Frameworks at Scape Procure. An appropriate close to the arena, the essence of Scape Procure and Mr Hill’s address was to remind the audience that with all infrastructure projects, we are not just investing in the projects, but communities.

Attendees heard again, how collaboration, fair payment, continual improvement and adoption of new technologies and innovations was vital for the sector to ensure economic benefits from the investments.

Subsector zones

The excitement didn’t end with the keynote arena – the floor was host to many exhibitors, showcasing new trends, technologies and innovations to a captive audience.

Two zones, specifically designed to highlight the growing subsectors within infrastructure, were also available to delegates.

In Zone 1, The Energy and Social Infrastructure zone, attendees heard from a range of specialists and suppliers working in the sector.

Over in Zone 2, Transport, sessions from some of the leading figures in infrastructure development in the West Midlands spoke to a lively audience.

Next steps

We would like to thank all delegates, visitors, partners, sponsors and exhibitors at UKIS for helping to make such a successful show and representing an industry with huge potential for growth and development.

To register your interest or to discuss booking your 2020 exhibition or sponsorship package, click here.