The Association for Consultancy and Engineering is setting up a regional group in the Middle East to help its members recover outstanding payments from clients in the region

The ACE estimates that late payments to UK engineering firms in the Middle East now total £500m, up from £400m in the spring.

The regional group will also offer member companies commercial, contractual and risk management support, as well as working to raise the profile of British engineers and their projects.

Nelson Ogunshakin, the ACE’s chief executive, said: “We are still trying to leverage our connections here to improve the situation for our members. I know some people did not agree with us when we raised the issue publicly earlier in the year but we believe we can help.”

The regional branch would operate in the same way as a UK regional group. ACE is looking for a chairperson to head it.

Ogunshakin added: “We will also aim to showcase some of the projects British engineers are doing in the region – too many are hidden.”

The ACE has over 800 member companies in the UK.