Construction Alliance Northeast (CAN), an organisation established to represent regional SMEs in construction and civil engineering, has welcomed a new Chair and Vice Chair.

Ken Parkin, who has spent 40 years in the industry with national and regional building contractors, takes over the two-year appointment of chair from Stuart Miller of CECA (Civil Engineering Contractors Association).

Ken is keen to build on the progress made by the organisation which was formed in 2017 and is well equipped to comment on the industry which continues to face challenging times whilst playing a major role within the regional economy.

The vice chair role has been taken on by Caroline Meehan Director of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). CAN and FMB have worked closely together to protect the interests of regional SMEs and Caroline’s new role supports Ken and the committee’s goals to combat issues that members face particularly in relation to public sector procurement and fairer payment terms.

CAN was formed to highlight the need for organisations to adopt intelligent procurement practices, including early engagement and more open communications so that regional SMEs get a better chance to compete for contracts in the open market.

Speaking about his new role, Ken Parkin said:

“I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Chair for CAN. Having been a part of this industry within the North East throughout my career I feel that I have the experience to lead the organisation to achieve great things and I’m excited to see what progress will be made.

“The regional construction and civil engineering sectors face a number of challenges that we hope to overcome through the adoption of our Intelligent Procurement policy and by feeding in to the regional ‘one voice’ strategy, and other initiatives. Furthermore, we are about to start work on our second policy document around fair payments. I’m thrilled to have Caroline on board as Vice Chair to assist when meeting with local MPs, government officials and education bodies in order to facilitate change. We have a busy agenda ahead of us, so watch this space!”

The four federations which support CAN – Federation of Master Builders (FMB), National Federation of Builders (NFB), Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) and Northern Counties Builders Federation (NCBF) – represent almost 500 companies in the North East , and members employ more than 100,000 people and enjoy a combined turnover of £3bn.