Re-Elected as President, Mark Denham reflects on industry challenges

BCSA President praised steel construction firms for their adaptability to industry challenges

Many BCSA members, including Elland Steel, had a table at the BCSA national dinner. During the event, our chairman, Mark Denham praised the sector for its resilience, strength and adaptability to unprecedented challenges in recent years.

In June, he was re-elected as the BCSA president for the third year running, so he reflected on the challenges the industry has faced during his presidency.

He mentioned that the night of the 23rd June 2016, was one of the BCSA national dinners as well as the EU referendum.

 “Did anybody think we were going to wake up to a “leave” result the morning after? Whether you voted for it or you didn’t, Brexit caused a period of great uncertainty. As the Brexit dust began to settle, I like many others thought things were getting better.

“Then along came the various waves of COVID with their lockdowns, furlough schemes and business retention loans all to be dealt with on top of your normal workloads. But, deal with them we did. The steel construction industry adapted and continued when many other industries stalled.”

            “To compound matters, the terrible loss of life and suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has also had consequences for our industry, with further price volatility and material availability problems adversely affecting budgets and programmes on many schemes.

“Going forward, I believe that although we’ve had to contend with large inflationary pressures in the recent past, a lot of these pressures have now plateaued and if this new stability can be maintained, we may all have a “soft landing” after this latest crisis.

 “But, what I do know, is that there have not been too many cases of companies ceasing to trade, which is a real achievement in this kind of trading environment. It’s reassuring to know that despite all of these challenges, the UK steel construction industry remains robust and successful.”

Construction industry challenges 

For sector performance updates and challenges, read our July industry insights. It mentions that Barbour ABI reported the commercial sector to have had a 37% monthly increase in contract awards from May to June. An overall 20% increase in last year’s figures. However, Glenigan noted a period of decline in project-starts.

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Mark Denham giving a speech at the BCSA Dinner in Madam Tussauds

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