Structural Timber Association “CITB funding was essential for us”

The STA, the UK’s leading timber association, received £15,000 from CITB’s Flexible and Structured Fund to make a fire safety video for its members and the wider construction industry.

“As a relatively small trade association we couldn’t afford to make a safety video without funding. Other organisations might think the sum we had from CITB was small, but it was essential to us.”

Those are the words of Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA).

Andrew Carpenter

The STA, the UK’s leading timber association, received £15,000 from CITB’s Flexible and Structured Fund to make a fire safety video for its members and the wider construction industry.

As Andrew explains, the video, which was launched in Spring 2016, followed an important health and safety meeting with MPs.

“A colleague and I were called before a House of Commons’ Select Committee in December 2014 after an Architect in the North East had failed to comply with Construction (Design and Management) Regulations,” says Andrew.

“The architect was fined approximately £5,000, which isn’t a great amount, but the reputational damage to the industry was considered much greater than that figure.

“At the meeting, we agreed that the timber industry needed fire safety guidance that could be easily consumed and promoted. The message needed to get out there quickly so we decided to make a video.”

Andrew says CITB’s funding application process was “clear and straightforward” with it taking just three months from the application’s submission to receipt of funding. He says that the video’s impact has been huge.

To date it has been downloaded 400 times and featured in a range of trade publications. In addition, a White Paper document on the safety guidance has been produced; an animated Vine for social media is in development.

“We’ll be reporting feedback to CITB on how the funding has worked over the next three years,” says Andrew, who adds that the application’s success has whetted STA’s appetite to apply for more funding.

“We’re currently putting a number of new funding bids together including one for an upgrade of manufacturer workbooks and a bid aiming to encourage schoolchildren to join the industry.”

Watch the video “Designers Guide to Structural Timber Frame for Safety during Construction.”

Find out more about funding