A new service has been launched to connect freelance construction staff with potential customers.

Mark Watters, who is based in Cockermouth, already runs consultancy BidBase, which helps firms write bids to tender for work.

He also runs online platforms Shareplant Rentals and Shareplant Toolbox, which enable contractors to advertise their equipment for hire when they are not using it.

Now, he has launched another online platform named Shareplant Freelance.

It allows construction clients to post short term tasks onto the website so freelancers can bid to deliver work either onsite or remotely from their desks.

Mark said: "The UK is facing a skills shortage in the construction sector and, by using this new freelance platform, we can make more use of our existing workforce by helping them to find freelance work.

"Future mega projects such as HS2, Crossrail 2, the nuclear new build programme and major highways schemes will bring these skill shortages into sharp focus, with contractors and clients struggling to resource projects.

"I’m convinced that the construction industry will realign as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, with more people taking control of their own destiny, earning money to cope with any future economic disruption and working from home to spend less time travelling and more time with their families.

“Cumbria has a high proportion of highly skilled construction and engineering professionals – many of which travel long distances each week to work throughout the UK, meaning they are away from their family and friends.

"Shareplant Freelance allows our freelancers to work anywhere in the UK, develop a diverse customer base and deliver this work from the comfort of their own home.”

An electrical engineer by background, Mark began his career working as an apprentice at Sellafield before working for a number of international contractors involved in nuclear construction.

He began engineering consultancy Prosure, later to rebrand as BidBase, in 2015.