CPA Conference 2019 Comes at a Critical Time for the Construction Plant Sector


With days to go until the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) Conference taking place on Thursday 17thOctober 2019 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Fillongley near Coventry, momentum is building for the event which will discuss business critical issues such as risk management, mental health and plant theft and fraud.

The theme of the Conference is ‘Planting Resilience: Building for the Future’ and delegate tickets can be purchased online at

Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA said: “The CPA Conference really does come at a critical time for our industry. As Brexit negotiations come to a head, the impact of business uncertainty has hit the construction sector and the latest economic data shows that growth continues to stall in construction. Nevertheless, the plant-hire sector has dealt with uncertainty before and 10 years on from the economic downturn, we need to learn the lessons of last time ahead of what potentially could be a challenging time for our industry.

“The theme of the conference is resilience and preparing ourselves for the future. We have a range of inspirational panel speakers talking us through areas important to the future development of the plant-hire sector and we look forward to welcoming over 100 key decision-makers to the event. The future of our industry is bright and this is demonstrated through the wide range of exhibitors who will also be showcasing a wide range of examples of new technology and equipment that demonstrate how the plant sector remains at the forefront of construction innovation,” he continued.

The conference is being hosted by former television newsreader, presenter and journalist Merryn Myatt. Merryn’s television experience spanned 20 years and included presenting numerous BBC national news programme and debates, as well as ITV and Channel 4 documentaries, news programmes and other shows. She was also senior presenter on The Money Channel. 

The conference agenda includes:

  • The plant-hire industry in 2019 and beyond – Panel session involving Katie Kelleher from Select/Laing O’Rourke and Belinda Naylor and Ian Webster from Webster Technologies 
  • Developing risk management in your business – Merryn Myatt leads the discussion on how businesses can cope with unexpected issues and media attention
  • Mental health toolkit for construction – Bill Hill from Building Mental Health and Sophie Cox from Flannery discuss what steps organisations can take to help staff and identify issues at an earlier stage
  • Plant theft and fraud – Iain Anderson from GAP Group, Kevin Howells from Datatag, Mike Gregory from JCB Insurance Services and Detective Inspector Ernie Locke from West Mercia Police discuss the latest developments and trends in plant theft and fraud and how to combat them 
  • CPA skills strategy 2019/2020 – Paul Skitt from Business Skills & Support Ltd and the CPA’s Chris Cassley discuss the skills strategy and how CPA members can become involved in the working group; Paul Whitehead from Highways England and Mark Warrilow of HS2 talk around the need to upskill the workforce and drive home recruitment

The headline sponsor Datatag will be exhibiting at the event alongside a number of other exhibitors. These will include BlokCam Ltd; Industrial Power Units; GGR Group; GenQuip Groundhog; JCB; Lighthouse Club; Machinery Trader Resale Weekly; MPS Crane Operators; NOCN Group; Pheonix International; Plant Planet; Point of Rental; Radius NFT; Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA); Thwaites; UK Civil Aviation Authority and Webster Technologies. MPS Crane Operators will be showcasing a tower crane simulator and various items of equipment will be displayed outside the venue from the likes of GGR Group and Thwaites.

This will be the fifth year that the CPA Conference has been held and it is becoming an essential entry in the calendar for senior figures in the plant-hire industry. Attendance is open to both CPA members and non-members. The CPA is the leading trade association for the plant-hire sector in the UK, with over 1,700 members who supply 85% of hired plant to the construction industry. The sector generates over £4 billion and invests £1.3 billion in new equipment each year.