The unique programme is designed to promote a better understanding between Parliament and industry.
Mr Bingham, who is MP for High Peak in Derbyshire, has been visiting Aggregate Industries’ operations across the UK to develop a better understanding of the national significance of the quarrying and construction materials industry.
Laurie Quinn, our Regional Director said “The IPT Fellowship offers a mutual, non-political platform for Aggregate Industries and Mr Bingham to gain a better understanding of the drivers for both industry and Parliament.
“Our industry was one of the first to feel the effects of the global financial crisis in 2008 and the economic climate remains tough. It is recognised that continued investment in construction and infrastructure is vital to help aid economic recovery and gaining a further parliamentary perspective is incredibly useful for us, particularly in light of the recent Government Construction Strategy.”
Andrew Bingham said "I signed up to the IPT scheme as I feel it is important that MPs retain a link with industry and business through whatever means are available. I chose the quarrying industry due to the significant amount of quarrying in my High Peak constituency.
"Aggregate Industries has put together a busy and varied programme for me to see all aspects of their business across the country. It is really valuable experience for me and a tremendous opportunity to learn not just how stone is quarried but other aspects including the treatment and the shipping of the product. I can also see the direct consequences of Government legislation and hear firsthand the challenges faced by the industry as a whole."
The programme began on 8 August with visits to a collection of the company’s Cornwall quarrying and logistics operations; Melbur works in Summercourt, Fowey Harbour and Littlejohn mineral pit.
Of particular interest was a unique sustainable construction material product that comes from the region, Cornish secondary granite. A by-product from the china clay industry, it has played an important role in the construction of the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Continuing the programme in Somerset, Mr Bingham visited rail logistics operator Mendip Rail as well as Torr Works. Somerset produces a large proportion of the construction aggregates consumed within London and the South East and the visits gave Mr Bingham an opportunity to understand the logistics of processing materials in the region, before they are railed across the south for use in construction projects over 100 miles away.
Mr Bingham also met with the Somerset Wildlife Trust in Cheddar to discuss the relationship between the quarrying industry and its work towards landscape conservation and habitat creation.
Early in October Mr Bingham visited Bardon Hill Quarry in Leicestershire. Bardon Hill is a quarry of national significance, being one of a few rail-linked quarries in the UK. Planning permission was granted to extend Bardon Hill Quarry in May 2011, unlocking mineral reserves for use by the construction industry and securing the future of jobs at the site for another 40 years.
The programme will conclude at the end of October with visits to Uttoxeter Quarry and Topley Pike Quarry in Mr Bingham’s home county of Derbyshire.