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Faithful+Gould regional director appointed head of CENE Value Group

Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) has announced that Kathryn Gardner, regional director at Faithful+Gould, is joining the board as Value chair.

Suzanne Blair, director at GT3 architects, becomes vice-chair.

The group brings together representatives to recognise value over cost, to ensure a confident supply chain. It aims to support clients and other stakeholders to inspire greater social value beyond the traditional measure of cost, time and quality.

Group members include representation from Northern Counties Builders Federation, Esh Group, ATG Group, xsite Architecture and Low Carbon Journey.

A key focus during 2023 for CENE is its four key sector theme groups – people, value, innovation and climate – which are designed to showcase good practice across the region and beyond. By harnessing the wealth of knowledge and experience of its industry members and partners, the groups identify opportunities for the region’s development, building on existing good practice to deliver a more productive sector, delivering long term value and sustainability for society.

The themes build on the work of the OneVoice North East England construction strategy and action plan, launched in 2020, with the aim of creating a successful, sustainable and inclusive construction industry, equipped with the people and technology to deliver a carbon neutral, built environment, by 2050, if not before.

Kathryn, said: “I am really looking forward to leading the Value Group, we are ambitious in our aims and in what we have set out to achieve.

“Value is often challenging to understand so, one of our key goals for this year, is to define value and make it accessible, so we move away from projects being deemed a success because they were delivered to minimum standards at the lowest capital cost on completion.

“We want to define the business case, delivering and procuring value and then address how we engage with the supply chain to ensure value is met at every stage, particularly with SMEs who play a large role within the construction industry.

“As an industry, we need to deliver more certain outcomes using digital technologies and improve productivity, quality and safety by increasing the use of manufacturing and optimise, through life performance, the development of smart assets.

“We need to upskill, retrain and reimagine our workforce to achieve these goals and this cannot be achieved with profit margins and practices as they currently are. Client foresight and leadership is needed and this must be guided by the construction industry. It is the only route to changing our industry to one that appreciates value over cost.”

Catriona Lingwood, chief executive at Constructing Excellence in the North East, said: “With the appointment of both Kathryn as chair and Suzanne as vice-chair, the Value Group has a great mix of knowledge and enthusiasm to really make a difference.

“Now more than ever, our sector needs to rise to the challenge of upskilling and futureproofing its workforce by industry-led innovation and procuring for better value.”


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