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Five reasons why becoming a member
can help you and your business

  • Training and development
  • Business support
  • Access to market data
  • Networking opportunities
  • Political representation


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Training

The BMF runs a wide range of training and skills development for employees of merchants, distributors and suppliers, from yard staff to company directors. Training ranges from online product knowledge to specialist skills training.

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Publications

BMF publications include One Voice magazine, Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), Plumbing & Heating News, Timber Forum News, Remuneration survey, KPI report, Business News and CPA Weekly notes.

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Featured Events

The BMF has a wide range of events, forums and regional meetings to enhance networking opportunities.




BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Burns Supper

25 January 2019

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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Anniversary
2018
 
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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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BMF Branch Managers' Forum
26-27 March 2019

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

BMF opens third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland at Superglass  


The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.  

The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Superglass Insulation produces thermal and acoustic glass mineral wool products to exacting standards, evidenced by the recent £37m investment in state of the art manufacturing facilities which will double output at their Stirling base.  

The BMF’s latest RCOE is situated at the Superglass Futureworks Innovation Centre, a unique resource for architects and industry professionals alike. The 3,000 sq ft facility combines contemporary meeting space for up to 40 people with a comprehensive product demonstration area showcasing the latest products.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to open our third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland. It’s a fantastic centre for members to meet and attend BMF forums and training courses. I look forward to meeting many local members there in the future.”  

Andy Murray, UK Sales Director at Superglass said, “We are thrilled to have the Superglass Innovation Centre designated as a BMF Centre of Excellence. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and corporate culture, and we believe this is most successful when undertaken in a spirit of collaboration with our trade partners. This opening is testament to that commitment.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about Superglass visit https://www.superglass.co.uk/ .
The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF All Industry Conference looks to change conversation on mental health  


The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by Crystal Direct. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story and offer practical advice on how to work with and overcome mental health issues in the workplace.  

Their campaigning work is potentially life-saving. On World Mental Health Day, earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of a suicide prevention minister – shockingly suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45, affecting people from every walk of life. In a recent study more than half of those in the construction trade (55%) are said to have experienced mental health issues at some point, while another industry study last year found one in four have considered taking their own life.  

Neil and Jonny’s story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary which led to a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Following this they ran the 2017 London Marathon in support of the Heads Together mental health initiative, spearheaded by the royal couple and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “There is a growing understanding within our industry that mental health is as important as physical health and a number of BMF members, including Chandlers, Haldane Fisher and Travis Perkins are already implementing programmes both to raise awareness amongst staff and customers and to support employees. Neil and Jonny’s presentation is one of the most powerful that I have ever seen and I’m certain that it will resonate with every delegate in the room.”  

Neil and Jonny will also lead a BMF Industry Forum on Day Two, sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain, which will further explore a subject that is gradually breaking free of the stigmas that have surrounded it for many years.  

David Travill, MD at Isover Saint-Gobain said, “We are extremely pleased to support this important discussion. A generation ago no one spoke about cancer but bringing it out in the open increased funding for research and vastly increased survival rates. Today we are in a similar position with mental health. Talking about it begins the process of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health, which will ultimately benefit every one of us, and our businesses.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

BMF opens third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland at Superglass  


The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.  

The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Superglass Insulation produces thermal and acoustic glass mineral wool products to exacting standards, evidenced by the recent £37m investment in state of the art manufacturing facilities which will double output at their Stirling base.  

The BMF’s latest RCOE is situated at the Superglass Futureworks Innovation Centre, a unique resource for architects and industry professionals alike. The 3,000 sq ft facility combines contemporary meeting space for up to 40 people with a comprehensive product demonstration area showcasing the latest products.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to open our third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland. It’s a fantastic centre for members to meet and attend BMF forums and training courses. I look forward to meeting many local members there in the future.”  

Andy Murray, UK Sales Director at Superglass said, “We are thrilled to have the Superglass Innovation Centre designated as a BMF Centre of Excellence. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and corporate culture, and we believe this is most successful when undertaken in a spirit of collaboration with our trade partners. This opening is testament to that commitment.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about Superglass visit https://www.superglass.co.uk/ .
The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF All Industry Conference looks to change conversation on mental health  


The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by Crystal Direct. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story and offer practical advice on how to work with and overcome mental health issues in the workplace.  

Their campaigning work is potentially life-saving. On World Mental Health Day, earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of a suicide prevention minister – shockingly suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45, affecting people from every walk of life. In a recent study more than half of those in the construction trade (55%) are said to have experienced mental health issues at some point, while another industry study last year found one in four have considered taking their own life.  

Neil and Jonny’s story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary which led to a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Following this they ran the 2017 London Marathon in support of the Heads Together mental health initiative, spearheaded by the royal couple and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “There is a growing understanding within our industry that mental health is as important as physical health and a number of BMF members, including Chandlers, Haldane Fisher and Travis Perkins are already implementing programmes both to raise awareness amongst staff and customers and to support employees. Neil and Jonny’s presentation is one of the most powerful that I have ever seen and I’m certain that it will resonate with every delegate in the room.”  

Neil and Jonny will also lead a BMF Industry Forum on Day Two, sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain, which will further explore a subject that is gradually breaking free of the stigmas that have surrounded it for many years.  

David Travill, MD at Isover Saint-Gobain said, “We are extremely pleased to support this important discussion. A generation ago no one spoke about cancer but bringing it out in the open increased funding for research and vastly increased survival rates. Today we are in a similar position with mental health. Talking about it begins the process of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health, which will ultimately benefit every one of us, and our businesses.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

BMF opens third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland at Superglass  


The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.  

The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Superglass Insulation produces thermal and acoustic glass mineral wool products to exacting standards, evidenced by the recent £37m investment in state of the art manufacturing facilities which will double output at their Stirling base.  

The BMF’s latest RCOE is situated at the Superglass Futureworks Innovation Centre, a unique resource for architects and industry professionals alike. The 3,000 sq ft facility combines contemporary meeting space for up to 40 people with a comprehensive product demonstration area showcasing the latest products.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to open our third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland. It’s a fantastic centre for members to meet and attend BMF forums and training courses. I look forward to meeting many local members there in the future.”  

Andy Murray, UK Sales Director at Superglass said, “We are thrilled to have the Superglass Innovation Centre designated as a BMF Centre of Excellence. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and corporate culture, and we believe this is most successful when undertaken in a spirit of collaboration with our trade partners. This opening is testament to that commitment.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about Superglass visit https://www.superglass.co.uk/ .
The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF All Industry Conference looks to change conversation on mental health  


The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by Crystal Direct. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story and offer practical advice on how to work with and overcome mental health issues in the workplace.  

Their campaigning work is potentially life-saving. On World Mental Health Day, earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of a suicide prevention minister – shockingly suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45, affecting people from every walk of life. In a recent study more than half of those in the construction trade (55%) are said to have experienced mental health issues at some point, while another industry study last year found one in four have considered taking their own life.  

Neil and Jonny’s story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary which led to a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Following this they ran the 2017 London Marathon in support of the Heads Together mental health initiative, spearheaded by the royal couple and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “There is a growing understanding within our industry that mental health is as important as physical health and a number of BMF members, including Chandlers, Haldane Fisher and Travis Perkins are already implementing programmes both to raise awareness amongst staff and customers and to support employees. Neil and Jonny’s presentation is one of the most powerful that I have ever seen and I’m certain that it will resonate with every delegate in the room.”  

Neil and Jonny will also lead a BMF Industry Forum on Day Two, sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain, which will further explore a subject that is gradually breaking free of the stigmas that have surrounded it for many years.  

David Travill, MD at Isover Saint-Gobain said, “We are extremely pleased to support this important discussion. A generation ago no one spoke about cancer but bringing it out in the open increased funding for research and vastly increased survival rates. Today we are in a similar position with mental health. Talking about it begins the process of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health, which will ultimately benefit every one of us, and our businesses.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF All Industry Conference looks to change conversation on mental health  


The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by Crystal Direct. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story and offer practical advice on how to work with and overcome mental health issues in the workplace.  

Their campaigning work is potentially life-saving. On World Mental Health Day, earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of a suicide prevention minister – shockingly suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45, affecting people from every walk of life. In a recent study more than half of those in the construction trade (55%) are said to have experienced mental health issues at some point, while another industry study last year found one in four have considered taking their own life.  

Neil and Jonny’s story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary which led to a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Following this they ran the 2017 London Marathon in support of the Heads Together mental health initiative, spearheaded by the royal couple and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “There is a growing understanding within our industry that mental health is as important as physical health and a number of BMF members, including Chandlers, Haldane Fisher and Travis Perkins are already implementing programmes both to raise awareness amongst staff and customers and to support employees. Neil and Jonny’s presentation is one of the most powerful that I have ever seen and I’m certain that it will resonate with every delegate in the room.”  

Neil and Jonny will also lead a BMF Industry Forum on Day Two, sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain, which will further explore a subject that is gradually breaking free of the stigmas that have surrounded it for many years.  

David Travill, MD at Isover Saint-Gobain said, “We are extremely pleased to support this important discussion. A generation ago no one spoke about cancer but bringing it out in the open increased funding for research and vastly increased survival rates. Today we are in a similar position with mental health. Talking about it begins the process of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health, which will ultimately benefit every one of us, and our businesses.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story

BMF goes the extra mile to fund coach for local special needs school 


Variety coach presentation to John Flamsteed SchoolA crazy four-day car rally across six countries is one of the fun activities members of the BMF took part in, to fundraise for John Flamsteed Community School’s brand new minibus.   The team comprised John Newcomb, Oz Bham and James Spillane (BMF) and Mike Tattam (Lakes Showering).

The BMF funded the minibus – officially known as a Variety Sunshine Coach – in support of Variety, the Children’s Charity.  

John Newcomb, the BMF’s Chief Executive Officer handed assistant headteacher Dawn Musson the minibus keys, during a special presentation at St George’s Park, near Burton on Trent on 27 September 2018.  

Mr Newcomb was joined at the presentation by other BMF representatives including Peter Hindle MBE (BMF Chairman), Jim Parlato (BMF Regional Chairman, East Midlands) and John Stephenson (BMF Regional Manager, North East/Yorkshire/East Midlands).  Variety’s CEO Frances Lang represented the charity.  

Of the new minibus, Lisa Walton, John Flamsteed Community School’s headteacher said:  “The new Variety Sunshine Coach will make a significant change to the opportunities that we can offer our students, but especially those for whom access to off-site activities can be difficult.  

“I would like to thank both Variety and BMF for supporting the students who will undoubtedly benefit from this extra provision.”  

Mrs Walton’s sentiments were echoed by Helen Redhead, the Head of School. “We are absolutely ecstatic as are the students at John Flamsteed Community School, The Ripley Academy and Street Lane Primary School.  

“The Variety Sunshine Coach will enhance the lives and probable life chances of many more students from three different schools and for that we and they are extremely grateful.”  

The coach presented to John Flamsteed School comes 30 years after the BMF donated a Sunshine Coach with the help of writer, comedian and actor Barry Cryer who kindly sent a personal message of support for the presentation.  

Mr Newcomb said: “The Builders Merchants Federation is delighted to support Variety as our charity of the year. Variety does a fantastic job helping disadvantaged young people and looking around me it is clear that a Sunshine Coach is far more than a means of transport.    

“I must thank BMF members across the building materials supply chain who have helped us in our fundraising, in particular everyone that took part in and supported the Vado Rally, which sees industry teams competing in a crazy car rally across six countries in four days. The funds raised from this event could not have been put to better use.”  

Variety has been helping improve the lives of young people who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged since 1949.  

Frances Lang, Variety’s CEO said: “We are extremely grateful to the BMF for sponsoring John Flamsteed School’s Variety Sunshine Coach.  These coaches, often regarded as ‘mobile classrooms’, give pupils with additional needs the opportunity to experience active learning and develop life skills outside of the school environment.”
BMF goes the extra mile to fund coach for local special needs school. A crazy four-day car rally across six countries is one of the fun activities members of the BMF took part in, to fundraise for John Flamsteed Community School’s brand new minibus

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to
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