IT is a multi-million-pound industry that employs more than 2000 people and now Scotland’s specialist demolition contractors are making sure their reputations are not knocked down.

They have formed a new industry body – the Demolition Contractors’ Association (DCA) – which will represent the sector’s interests and exploit future opportunities for employment and growth.

There are more than two dozen firms in the sector and the association’s inaugural meeting brought together representatives of 20 of them.

The DCA has been set up under the auspices of leading Scottish construction employers’ trade body the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and will be chaired by JCJ Group director James Caldwell.

It estimated that the Scottish demolition industry has a current annual value in the region of £150 million and directly employs around 2500 workers.

The association’s key aims will include the protection and enhancement of the industry’s image and reputation, as well as promoting professionalism within the industry.

It will also take action to attract more suitably skilled Scottish workers to consider a career in the field.

The DCA said it was also committed to providing expert input to ensure that relevant UK, Scottish and local government policies reflect the specific needs of the sector.

Caldwell and SBF chief executive Vaughan Hart have jointly written to a number of key decision-makers across Scotland seeking early meetings to discuss in greater details the aims of the new association.

The launch of the DCA followed recent high-profile announcements about the planned mass demolition of high rise buildings, and notably a commitment by North Lanarkshire Council to demolish around 4000 tower block homes to make way for lower rise accommodation over the next two decades.

Caldwell said there were many popular misconceptions about the demolition industry.

“In reality, it is a sector that consistently adheres to the highest standards of health and safety and professional practice while also offering excellent long-term career prospects,” he said.

“With an ongoing drive to modernise Scotland’s building stock and as an integral part of the wider Scottish construction industry, there can be no doubt that the demolition sector will have a crucial role to play in the years ahead in developing a built environment in Scotland that is fit for the future.

“Set in that context, there has never been a more important time for the Scottish demolition sector to make its voice heard.”

Hart added: “The Scottish Building Federation is committed to ensuring its organisation and structures reflect the Scottish construction industry in all its diversity.

“We recognise the specific and increasingly important role the demolition sector of the industry has to play in shaping the future of our built environment.

“I look forward to working closely with James and the other members of the Demolition Contractors’ Association to help fight the sector’s corner and harness fully the future opportunities for employment and growth Scottish demolition has to offer.”