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Clare Watson of Bernard Watson becomes Chair of the National Federation of Builders

20 June 2017

Our congratulations go to Clare Watson of Preston-based painting and decorating firm Bernard Watson. Clare was appointed Chair of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) at their AGM earlier this month. She is only the second woman to have ever held the prestigious role.

The NFB represents small to medium-sized builders, contractors and house builders across England and Wales. Its members range from the sole trader to large, multi-million pound construction companies, with turnover ranging from below £500,000 to over £500 million.

With approximately three million jobs accounting for around10 per cent of UK employment, it is estimated that just 12.8 per cent of those working in construction are female. With 35,000 new workers needed each year to meet demands, the industry says it is crucial that more women are urged to pursue careers in construction. Clare’s visibility as the new NFB National Chair will enable her to inspire other women and promote diversity.

Clare, who now begins a 12-month term of office, was credited with delivering an outstanding speech at the gala dinner for construction industry professionals that followed the AGM.  She said, ‘During my tenure as the National Chair of the NFB, I will work with our Chief Executive, Richard Beresford, and the NFB team to build a Federation that is relevant to the needs of a digital construction sector; one that helps members gain and maintain a competitive edge, ensures they feel supported in the challenges they face and inspires them to speak up and be heard.’

Michael Lucas, Director of Haleys said, ‘The NFB has chosen well. Clare will do a great job. We know she will work tirelessly to build on the ambition of the NFB and to promote their ethos of ‘together we are stronger.’

Bernard Watson was originally established in 1878 when it was known as John Corbishley & Sons. It passed into the hands of Clare’s father, Bernard Watson, in 1979.  Clare joined the Company in 1997 and has been both the North West Regional Chair and Chair of the Heritage Group for the National Federation of Builders since 2014.

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