One of our Directors, Bill Bordill, is treasurer of our local FBE group. But what is the FBE, what does it do and why? We had a chat with him to find out…

What is FBE?

The Forum for the Built Environment (FBE), is a national independent built environment networking organisation. It’s aimed at property and construction professionals. The country is split into several branches which enables a focus on specific geographical areas. Membership is national, permitting members to attend any event across the country. People do not need to be members though. Any construction professional can attend by selecting an event from our website.

How long has it been around and what’s its purpose?

The FBE was formed in 1946, so recently it celebrated its 70th birthday. Members come from multinational construction companies, cost consultants, architects, engineers and designers, property developers, planners, lawyers and other service professionals. We have built up a strong reputation, which has resulted in us obtaining some outstanding speakers for events. The purpose is to educate and inform as well as provide a useful networking platform.

How did you become involved?

I joined the Manchester Branch around 6 years ago to network with like-minded construction professionals with a focus on Manchester and the North West.

How can others get involved?

Book an event through our website and come along to explore if it works for you. In Manchester, we hold mostly breakfast events designed not to disturb the working day too much. We also hold social events throughout the year which are evening events. They usually involve food, drinks and good company. For example, our Summer Social will be upon us soon. We try to be relaxed and informal. As a committee, we aim to put events on which suit our members. We are always open to new ideas and are well aware that our role is to serve our membership.

What’s your role?

I soon realised that I would get more enjoyment out of the FBE if I put my hand up and joined the organising committee. It then followed naturally that a couple of years later I extended this role by becoming the Treasurer. The QS in me came to the fore!

How much time is involved?

Organising an event can be time-consuming, but rewarding, especially in the days immediately prior to the event. Some events attract up to 200 attendees. Generally in Manchester, we attract 125 to 175 attendees. My role as Treasurer also takes circa 2 hours per week.

What benefits have you seen from your involvement?

I have raised my profile in the North West and expanded my network of contacts which has directly resulted in securing work and work opportunities. On a personal level, I enjoy working with a great committee team in Manchester. Committee members have the opportunity to gain experience through involvement in strategic thinking for future events and the project management of events. There is also an opportunity to gain public speaking experience.

What are FBE Manchester’s plans for the rest of the year?

Future events include: Educational Estates, Motivational Speaker, Residential, Urban Heritage, New Disruptors, Investors, Iconic City Developments. They’ll be listed on the website as soon as they’re confirmed.

What type of people are involved – who should sign up?

All construction and property professionals. The Manchester branch recently (circa 3 years ago) assisted in the establishment of the Forum for Tomorrow (FFT). The FFT is aimed (not exclusively) at construction and property professionals up to the age of 30. The FFT events tend to be aimed at evening socials which better suit the age profile and experience of the membership. We also offer sponsorship opportunities to help people directly promote their services.

My suggestion would be for any construction professional to simply come along and see if the FBE is for you. There is no obligation to join as a member and no obligation to get involved on the committee.