Actuate UK: a new single voice for engineering services

February saw the launch of a major new UK engineering services sector alliance. Actuate UK brings together eight leading trade, technology, research and professional bodies to provide a single voice for this major industry sector.

The new alliance represents a sector that covers design and construction along with building and infrastructure upgrades and other services. This activity involves some 60,000 firms and 350,000 skilled professionals and enables around £600 billion of UK economic activity.

As the name suggests, Actuate UK aims to be an agent for positive change, helping to deliver a safer, more productive and more sustainable built environment. The alliance will work with UK Government and the Devolved Nations, and a range of other industry bodies, to support national initiatives such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Recovery Roadmap and public sector policy such as the Construction Playbook. It will also provide support from the sector to economic plans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Initially, the alliance will focus on four strategically important areas: the post-COVID world of business; after Grenfell – safety, quality and competence; achieving net zero carbon; and engineering skills for tomorrow’s built-environment.

February’s launch included video endorsements from a number of key industry figures. These included Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council and CEO of Thames Tideway Tunnel, Ann Bentley, member of the Construction Leadership Council and Global Chairman of Rider Levett Bucknall, David Pinder, Chair of the Green Construction Board, and  John Welch, Deputy Director (Construction) at Crown Commercial Service.

Construction Minister, Anne Marie Trevelyan, and Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in the Scottish Government also welcomed the new sector alliance. Both Ministers anticipated working with Actuate UK to enable a green economic recovery.


The founding Actuate UK members are:

  • The Building Engineering and Services Association(BESA)
  • The Building Services Research and Information Association(BSRIA)
  • The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers(CIBSE)
  • ECA – Electrical and Engineering Services/FSA – Fire and Safety Association
  • The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)
  • The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)
  • SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland
  • The Scottish and NI Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF).


Paul Reeve is Director of Communications at engineering services body ECA.

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