Construction minister Alun Michael has launched a fresh accreditation scheme to protect consumers from cowboy builders.

Trustmark is now open to applications from companies, and will become fully operational in the autumn. It replaces the failed Quality Mark scheme, which closed because of a lack of support.

Making one of his first public announcements as construction minister, Michael urged companies to sign up and support the scheme.

He said: “Only enthusiastic and consistent construction industry involvement and support will make Trustmark a success and help to drive up standards. I’m glad the government has supported and facilitated this scheme but now it’s over to you.”

The government has pledged £2m to set up and support Trustmark in its early stages. The scheme, which will be administered by trade associations, is expected to become self-financing within two years.