VIDEO | Can construction collaborate its way out of crisis? 

Construction regularly tops the table when it comes to insolvencies. Participants at a roundtable discussion hosted by Mansell Building Solutions pondered why this is and how we can stop the rot. 

It is no secret that construction is a tough sector in which to turn a profit. Margins are tight, forcing many contractors to chase work to maintain cash flow. It is a precarious landscape, one that requires a reset. 

Much is made of the importance of early engagement with contractors and their supply chains and the need for collaboration and a more equitable share of the risk. But is the industry serious about this? 

Experts from across the sector pointed to various issues – from laborious procurement to the sheer number of firms fighting for work – that need to be addressed if construction is to have a bright future.  


  • Angela Mansell, managing director at Mansell Building Solutions 
  • Mike Tyler, business development manager at North West Construction Hub 
  • Emma Richman, director of operations at Peaks & Plains 
  • Helen Gribbon, director at Renaissance 
  • Zoe Brooke, founder and chair of the Save Construction Initiative 
  • Peter McDermott, professor of construction procurement at the University of Salford 
  • Lucy Powers, director and co-owner at Powers Surveys 
  • Paul Mann, regional director for cost consultancy at Gleeds 
  • Jenny Martin, preconstruction manager at Morgan Sindall Construction 
  • Chaired by Dan Whelan, deputy editor, Place North West 

Key points 

There is a perceived lack of respect for the construction industry and the trades that make it up, meaning that the chances of effective collaboration are doomed before a project even begins. 

An unwillingness to try new approaches, particularly when it comes to the delivery of new homes, is holding us back. We need to be more willing to think outside the box. 

Procurement needs to be streamlined. Many contractors find the bidding process laborious and costly. 

Despite the various hurdles facing the industry, there is hope. “There is an openness and a transparency. We are all talking about the same things and I think if you can harness that will and that openness, we maybe stand a chance of gaining some traction and moving forward,” Mansell said. 

You can hear highlights from the roundtable in the video at the top of this article, as well as on the Place North West YouTube channel.  Learn more about Mansell Building Solutions at

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