About Leading Edge

Meet Our Team who Provide Expert Market Research and Analysis in the Construction and Environmental Industries

Established way back in 1988, Leading Edge has grown with the construction, building products and environmental & energy sectors. We’ve evolved and expanded our expertise alongside these industries, so our dedicated and insightful team of industry experts are uniquely positioned to add maximum value to your project. We're proud to be the go-to experts for businesses looking to make informed decisions and stay ahead in the competitive construction market.

Our expertise isn't confined to borders. We offer comprehensive market coverage in the UK, across Europe and globally, bringing you a world of market insights right to your doorstep.

Let’s not forget that we explore our own data, too! We’re happy to say that Leading Edge scores an average satisfaction rating of 9.4 out of 10 (where 10 = most likely to recommend) from our existing customers. We can’t wait for you to become one of them!

moderntallglassbuildings withgraphics
home image1

Meet our Team of experts

mel budd

Mel Budd

Director

ec head

Elly Cousin

Director

ch head 2

Chris Hadley

Lead – Environmental & Energy

Claire Schlag

Researcher/Analyst

Pat Barker

Researcher

Catherine Fitz-James

Researcher/Analyst

Jo Murray

Researcher

Nichola Martland

Researcher

Stuart Jackson

Administrator & Accounts

Who We Work With

Our collaboration with organisations across the entire construction industry supply chain has given us unparalleled insights into market challenges. Our clients include contractors, building product manufacturers, trade associations, and related service organisations.

We frequently work with tier 1 contractors, housebuilders, facilities management contractors, and companies in the environmental and energy fields. Our expertise spans construction materials like bricks, aggregates, timber, doors, roofing, and flooring. We've also studied modern methods of construction (MMC) and offsite building techniques.

We assist merchants and distributors in understanding their markets and customers. Our work also extends to technology firms and service organisations within the construction, environmental, and energy sectors. Trusted by construction trade associations, governmental agencies, and academic institutions, Leading Edge offer extensive studies and investment forecasting for industry stakeholders.

low angle shot of a unique high rise orange building touching the sky

Some of our clients

quotation marks white
We have worked with Leading Edge for 7 years now. When you are employing a company to talk to your customers you need to trust implicitly that they always act in a completely professional manner. Leading Edge have always done this and their communication with us as a business is first class.
Business Development Manager, Severn Trent Searches
Leading Edge worked with us on the marketing and brand strategy for our UK business. The market research they carried out has enabled us to identify the most profitable route to growing our business. We were more than happy with their work and would definitely recommend them.
Director, Aliaxis

Mel Budd

Director

Mel brings a wealth of experience to the team with 30 years in the building materials and construction sectors.

During that time he has built up a valuable blend of hands-on experience at a senior level in the industry, together with a proven track record in management consultancy and market research.

Prior to Leading Edge he was Sales and Marketing Director at Marley, a manufacturer of waterproofing and flooring materials. Before Marley he was Marketing Director at Hall & Co, a £200m builders’ merchant group, now part of Jewson. In a consultancy capacity he has worked in the Strategic and Marketing division of Price Waterhouse Coopers Management Consultants and for Management Horizons, a specialist market research agency. He has a degree in Economics and Statistics and an MBA from Imperial College.

As a management consultant, his clients have ranged from small start up companies to large multi-national businesses. He has experience of many industry sectors including: manufacturing, construction, distribution and public utilities. His areas of expertise include market research & analysis, strategy development, market planning, product marketing and business development.

Elly Cousin

Director

Elly has been the driving force behind more than 150 projects since joining us in 2013. Heading up our construction and building product projects, she’s worked with a wide range of companies including manufacturers, distributors, contractors and membership organisations.

Elly oversees the project management, being our clients point of contact as well as managing the researcher teams. Her diverse project experience shines through when she takes clients objectives and develops questionnaires that really hit the mark.

When it comes to report writing her forte lies in her ability to take complex data and weave it into actionable insights and meaningful findings, making her an invaluable asset to our team and clients alike.

Chris Hadley

Research Manager / Researcher

Chris has been a pivotal figure in shaping the environmental and utilities arm of Leading Edge for over 25 years. His efforts have significantly contributed to positioning the company as a top-tier marketing consultancy in this niche sector.

Before his tenure at Leading Edge, Chris honed his skills at ECOTEC, a Birmingham-based consultancy, focusing on strategic business consulting and research. He also lent his expertise as a technical consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). His experience spans over thirty organizations in the environmental and energy sectors, including longstanding clients of Leading Edge.

Chris has worked with a diverse range of clients in our environmental and energy division, including government departments like UK Trade and Industry and EISU, regional development agencies, as well as water and energy utilities. He has also collaborated with major waste & environmental service companies and various private sector SMEs. Known for his practical and grounded approach, Chris has consistently earned the trust and appreciation of both small and large organizations alike.

Claire Schlag

Researcher/Analyst

Claire specialises in conducting comprehensive qualitative interviews for our construction industry clients. Her strong knowledge of the field enables her to extract detailed insights during these interviews, uncovering the core issues. She is also adept at analysing and interpreting the gathered data and identifying key patterns and trends for our clients.

Her time at Leading Edge spans 15 years and a wide range of projects, involving interactions with building product distributors, contractors, architects, and specifiers for various clients. Claire has further applied her skills to research projects in the environmental and utilities sectors, showcasing her versatility and depth of expertise.

Claire’s background with the market research agency Frost & Sullivan gives her excellent experience in questionnaire development and interviewing techniques to ensure the maximum level of insight is obtained from every interview.  She also spent time leading Frost & Sullivan’s training division, developing her project management and business development skills. As a key member of the training division, she was responsible for the management training sector and logistics department.

Pat Barker

Researcher/Analyst

Pat brings a wealth of experience to the research team, having worked in market research for over 30 years. She has excellent knowledge of the construction market and applies a high level of skill when interviewing. The projects she works on will typically involve interviewing senior-level executives, architects and technical consultants.

Catherine Fitz-James

Researcher/Analyst

Cat, the newest addition to our team since early 2023, has quickly become an integral part of our operations. In her time with us, she has engaged in a diverse array of projects, ranging from detailed competitor analyses and benchmarking studies to in-depth qualitative research initiatives. She has worked with a variety of clients, including top-tier contractors, building product manufacturers, and service providers in the construction industry.

Part of Cat’s role is to oversee the day-to-day running of our multi-client flooring reports, which involve large-scale interview programmes with flooring contractors. Through these experiences, Cat has developed a robust understanding of the construction market, including its specific jargon and nuances. She has also recently worked on several of our multi-client flooring reports which has involved large scale interview programmes with flooring contractors.

Jo Murray

Researcher

Jo joined our research team bringing the ultimate combination of experience in both construction marketing and market research. Her previous industry knowledge has ensured that she has been able to conduct in-depth interviews with senior-level respondents from organisations such as Housing Associations and Local Authorities through to Architects and Engineers.

Nic Martland

Researcher

Nic boasts a remarkable 25-year journey in the construction market research sector. Her deep-seated expertise has been pivotal in conducting telephone interview projects for an array of construction-related entities, including building product manufacturers and main contractors. Her involvement has spanned interviewing a diverse group, from installers, specifiers, and subcontractors to local councils and industry experts, giving her a comprehensive understanding of industry jargon, technical product information and the key issues the industry is facing.

Her organisational prowess is unmatched, and coupled with her exceptional interviewing and communication skills, Nic has continually demonstrated her ability to gather and interpret complex industry information effectively.

Stuart Jackson

Administrator & Accounts

Stuart runs the administration and book-keeping for Leading Edge. He has worked in a finance environment for over 20 years and has experience of working for a number of small and large organisations. It is his responsibility to ensure that the Leading Edge office runs as efficiently as possible.