Nathan Garnett, UKCW show director, previews the UK’s largest event for the built environment which comes to the NEC this autumn

The countdown is on - we are now just weeks away from UK Construction Week Birmingham (UKCW Birmingham), which returns to Birmingham’s NEC from 4th to 6th October 2022.

Officially opened by architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke and with guest speakers including West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, UKCW Birmingham is the must-attend construction event this autumn and is expecting around 25,000 attendees.

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The opening of UK Construction week in London

The show will celebrate culture change in construction with an exciting programme of debate and discussion from top speakers on how the industry can move forward to tackle its biggest issues, including quality, fire safety, sustainability, offsite manufacturing, mental health, and improving diversity and inclusion.

Visitors will also be able to find sections dedicated to net zero, building materials, digitalisation, infrastructure, surface & materials, offsite construction, and skills & careers.

There’ll be plenty to see, hear and do; UKCW Birmingham will see over 6,000 products on display from over 300 exciting exhibitors including Balfour Beatty Vinci, HS2, Tarmac, Forterra, Akzo Nobel, Google, Wavin, Celsa UK, Bosch, Schneider Electric and many more. This year, the multi award-winning show has also attracted an abundance of overseas exhibitors, including brands from as far afield as Australia, India, Norway, Turkey and the UAE.

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What’s more, details of a packed programme of seminars, CPD talks, and careers presentations have been announced; seminars at UKCW will focus on a myriad of topics including skills, social value, business, innovation and regulation, major projects, procurement and housing - complemented by 20 dedicated CPD sessions across the three days, covering everything from supply chain resilience to the Building Safety Act.

Programme highlights include:

Day one:

  • Skills: UKCW Birmingham will look at the skills agenda, and on the solutions that have been found by industry leaders, such as Rick Lee OBE, chief people person at Willmott Dixon, who was instrumental in securing the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark for the tier one contractor.
  • Social Value: Ann Bentley, global board director at Rider Levett Bucknall, and board member of the Construction Leadership Council, has led the way on bringing about behaviour change and unlocking social value through changes in the construction process. She will give her reflections on the launch of the value toolkit and what it can do for the sector.
  • Net Zero: David Hopkins, chair of Timber Development UK, will host a series of keynote discussions throughout the show; the first day includes a panel looking at the commercial reality of carbon in construction; and finance, construction and the climate challenge.


Day two:

  • Business, Innovation and Regulation: Including the new Building Safety Act, the ongoing digital revolution, and the challenges facing the supply chain brought about by the pandemic and war in Ukraine.
  • Economic Outlook: What does the economic outlook for the sector look like? Top economists professor Noble Francis, economic director at the Construction Products Association, and Tom Hall, chief economist at Barbour ABI, will offer crucial information for those planning the months ahead.


Day three:

  • UKCW Question Time with Andy Street - the mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority will be answering Midlanders’ major questions including housing - the Future Homes Strategy and the Housing and Land Board; and transport – including HS2
  • Major projects, procurement and housing: bringing together the solutions from the conference programme to the biggest challenges of the day. These include retrofitting the majority of UK housing stock, creating net infrastructure, and a look into the regional opportunities in the West Midlands region enabled by HS2 and its satellite projects.

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Furthermore, the Careers Centre will offer visitors an array of informative talks aimed at those interested in a career in construction, whether that be graduates, students in further education, or those looking at a career change. Highlights include:

  • Bridging the UK skills shortage through social mobility – how to hire in a period of unparalleled demand for skills.
  • Role Models in Construction with Founders4Schools – Role models can inspire a new generation to enter the industry, F4S will explain how industry can play its part
  • Anglia Ruskin University: Breaking down barriers – exclusive research will be presented with solutions on how women and carers can be attracted into construction
  • Building People will run a full day on Tuesday, bringing together organisations and initiatives that provide built environment careers support to diverse audiences.


Co-located events at UKCW Birmingham include Timber Expo, Green Living Live (5-6 Oct only), and Grand Designs Live (5-6 Oct only). Ticket Holders will gain free access to all co-located events. There will also be an Institute of Builders Merchants conference on 5th October (paid for entry). To register for UKCW Birmingham for free, go to UKCW Birmingham registrations

You can follow UKCW on social media - @uk_cw #UKCW2022

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