The Construction Products Association and Polypipe hosted a visit by the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Energy, to the plastic pipe systems manufacturer’s facilities in Kent where he saw first-hand an example of the innovative and sustainable product development undertaken within the construction products industry.

The visit included a tour of the Aylesford factory and the 14-acre site’s Centre of Excellence training facility. Polypipe CEO David Hall explained how the business’s technical support function combined with a £100 million investment in equipment across its nine manufacturing sites in recent years have been important factors in the company’s resilience and organic growth, leading to contracts for many of the UK’s most prestigious construction projects, including London 2012.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: ‘Industry figures show the UK construction products sector has an annual turnover of £40 billion, and employs 300,000 people in more than 20,000 companies. It provides materials to build everything from factories and offices to schools and hospitals – essential for both the economy and society at large.

‘The Government is working with industry on an industrial strategy for construction that will set out a long term approach to give confidence to business for investment and growth. It also looks at how we can increase exports of construction products, particularly amongst small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

‘Polypipe are already exporting to Africa and the Middle East and I want to help more companies emulate their success in rapidly growing markets. As a local MP it gives me immense pride to see such an outward looking company based here in Kent.’

Dr Diana Montgomery, Construction Products Association Chief Executive, said: ‘Visits like this one allow the Minister to see the tremendous efforts undertaken by our industry around not only innovation and sustainability but also developing export markets. It affords our members a chance to highlight how government support and action on a range of issues affecting their businesses – such as infrastructure investment, energy strategy, availability of finance, and planning and regulations – are key to promoting further success.

‘Companies like Polypipe also serve as perfect examples of how the construction products industry will be instrumental in delivering 21st century solutions for the built environment.’

Polypipe CEO David Hall added: ‘Polypipe has a long and proud tradition of British innovation and manufacturing and we are very grateful to Mr Fallon for the time and interest he has shown in our business. The market is extremely challenging but we remain as committed as ever to harnessing our expertise and investing in new product development to supply and support construction projects around the world.’