24 MAR 2020


As the construction sector pulls together to help companies through the coronavirus crisis, Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) chief executive Hannah Vickers has written to member firms with an update on how ACE is helping them in difficult times.

Together with my senior leadership team, we have developed a short-term action plan to help ACE members through what is likely to be a rocky few weeks and months ahead. Like most other offices, we closed our doors in London last Tuesday and are now working remotely, focusing on the following on behalf of our members.

Engaging central government and clients for their support. As you may have seen, we have written to the chancellor and secretary of state for business with a suite of strategic interventions to help our sector in the weeks and months ahead. We are also in discussions with clients and central government over what they will do to support the industry as a matter of urgency.

Sharing the latest advice, guidance, best-practice and industry announcements on our website. Given the fast-moving nature of the crisis, I would recommend checking this page regularly as we are currently updating it daily. For example, we have the latest on last Friday’s announcement by the chancellor which offered significant support for business.

Launching a new webinar series to help members through the crisis. Covering the key issues that business leaders in our sector will face over the coming weeks, the webinars are designed to provide firms with the key takeaways on finance, people, communications, and procurement. The webinars are free to sign-up for and recordings will be shared on our website.

Negotiating discounts with key suppliers. We are actively engaging with key industry suppliers to explore the scope for discounts or the short-term waiving of licence fees, to help the cash position of businesses. We hope to have more on this soon.

Looking beyond the near future, we have also reviewed our full programme for 2020 and where our focus needs to change in the medium and long-term. We intend to continue our headline campaigns, Future of Consultancy and Net Zero and we also will continue our regular group meetings, although these will now take place remotely. Although we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our awards ceremony and June conference, we hope to see you supporting ACE and the industry at these events in September.

I appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve witnessed first-hand how ACE’s work really matters and how our community will be more important than ever in helping our sector to get through this in good shape.

Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line with anything I can do to help over the next few weeks. ACE is here to help its members no matter their size.

Hannah Vickers is the chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.


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