Second Expo for SMEs proves a hit as hundreds flock to Rochdale to see the latest ideas in construction

The most innovative ideas of the northern construction industry took centre stage at Willmott Dixon’s annual Better Together Expo in Rochdale.

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The company behind the town’s Riverside regeneration project hosted the two day event to give a platform to the huge amount of supply chain innovation that exists in the North West, with 35 local companies showing their products and services to potential buyers alongside expert speakers and seminars.

The Better Together Expo attracted hundreds of visitors to the Rochdale Riverside regeneration, one of the town's most important schemes in a generation. Students from the local Hopwood Hall College were also given the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the future-gazing ideas on display.

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Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “Innovation is in the DNA of Willmott Dixon and our supply chain partners. I have been amazed and inspired by the ingenuity on display. After the success of our first event in Blackpool last year, this event is now a staple of the northern construction calendar and it was great to see such a fantastic turnout over both days, which created a buzzing atmosphere and a really exciting forum for new ideas.

“As we look to the future of construction and to inspire a new generation, visitors needed only take one look outside at the live Rochdale Riverside project to see how, together, we are all shaping the future of our communities.”

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Developed by a joint venture of Genr8 and Kajima in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Riverside will provide 200,000 square foot of retail and leisure accommodation.

Amongst the exhibits were high-tech upper body exoskeleton vests that supports the arms during lifting– currently being trialled by Willmott Dixon in partnership with robotics firm, Eksobionics - to protect and support people as they do construction work.


Willmott Dixon is the first company in the construction industry to trial ‘Eksovest’ – funded by Eureka, the business’s central research and development fund.