A REGIONAL lobbying organisation has appointed two new board members.

The restructure at Construction Alliance North East (CAN) comes as the its first chairman Jeff Alexander and long-time board member Jack Redfern step down from their positions.

Peter Fowle, managing director of Able Construction (Northern) Limited and regional president of the NFB, and Matthew McCarrick, managing director of McCarrick Construction and NCBF board member, join the board, bringing more than 60 years of industry experience to their roles.

CAN was set up in 2015 to better represent regional SME contractors in the North-East and has grown to represent more than 500 businesses in the region since. It has a consists of construction and civil engineering contractor bodies with a combined turnover of £3bn.

Fowle, who also chairs the Northern Counties Safety Group, said: “I believe I have extensive knowledge of the regional industry, first-hand experience of the lost opportunities with local authorities and have hands-on experience of running an SME in the North-East.

“There will be a lot of companies who have not heard of CAN or what we do. It is important therefore that we make the local industry aware that we are here and are working on their behalf."

“CAN provides a cohesive platform to raise our profile and show the country that in the North-East, our construction industry is organised and professional,” added McCarrick. “Our aim to enable SMEs to access opportunities is the most important element – at the moment it takes a lot of time and monetary investment for an SME to access the various procurement processes which we have found can be complex, time-consuming and inconsistent.

“At CAN, I would like to be part of an improvement in the working culture of the North-East’s construction industry. There can be a glass ceiling for otherwise talented tradesmen if their business administration practices miss the mark in a way that makes them seem a risky choice for contractors."