The Black Country has the opportunity to become a world centre for excellence in construction, business leaders have been told.
A meeting of construction supply chain companies, organised by Black Country Chamber of Commerce, heard that multi-million pound regeneration projects will create major opportunities for companies to cash in as the region is transformed.
As part of a national campaign to equip firms for the future, the Chamber is joining forces with the West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence to launch a Black Country Construction Excellence Club.
The club is intended to bring together public and private sector developers, construction firms and supply chain manufacturers and professional services providers to promote best practice.
WMCCE director Prof Chris Nwagboso said the club would form part of a national network of similar organisations designed to offer support to companies involved in construction.
He told the meeting at Old Halesonians Rugby Club: "Our mission is to develop the West Midlands into a world-class sustainable centre for the built environment.
"WMCCE can unlock sources of Government cash for companies to develop their workforces and technology. We can provide 100 per cent grants for people, process, products
and systems. There is a real commercial advantage here. There is a definite correlation between excellence and profit."
Chamber chief executive Ian Brough told the audience of around 80 construction industry professionals that businesses needed a good quality environment.
"Around £4 billion of public money is spent in the Black Country each year. It is vital that business has a say in how
that money is used. "This club will help to promote and improve on the undoubted talents that already exist in the Black Country. With a construction boom on the horizon we need to make sure that the products used in all that construction are made here."
Martin Head of event sponsor A&H Construction said: "It is in all our interests to make best practice common practice.
"It is crucial that we maintain a high level of skills in the Black Country."
The meeting also heard from Ros Kerslake, chief executive of urban regeneration company RegenCo Sand-well, who said she was looking forward to private developers working with local authorities and other public bodies to transform whole swathes of the Black Country.
"We want projects that will kick-start the market, re-establish West Bromwich as a strategic centre, create a modern centre for industry and develop a 'learning village'," she said.