BMF News

Builders’ merchants’ sales soar as part of 0.9% rise in construction output  


Builders’ merchants have reported a double-digit increase in June, with average daily sales up 11.2% up on June 2017. Their performance reinforces today’s release of ONS data that has found construction output grew by 0.9% in Quarter 2 on 2018.    

The data on builders’ merchants is produced for the BMF through the ‘Builders Merchants Building Index' (BMBI) which tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales using GfK data. It found that total builders’ merchants’ sales in the first six months of 2018 increased by 4.0% over the same six months in 2017. The data also showed that average sales a day in the second quarter of 2018 were 18.7% higher than in the first quarter. The rise was led by a significant increase in landscaping sales, driven by the warm weather, with the ONS also finding there to have been an increase in Q2 in repair and maintenance work.  

The BMF state that their merchants’ set of results indicate that the building materials supply chain is working well, and fulfilling demand across the country being fuelled by construction and housebuilding projects.

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, said “Our members continue to deliver an effective and robust building materials supply chain, and I’m pleased to see this demonstrated through the BMBI and ONS construction data released today. As we predicted, the better weather has led to an increase in demand for home improvement projects. Major construction projects continue to drive sales for builders’ merchants across the country and our members are doing an excellent job ensuring we get the right materials in the right place.
Builders’ merchants have reported a double-digit increase in June, with average daily sales up 11.2% up on June 2017. Their performance reinforces today’s release of ONS data that has found construction output grew by 0.9% in Quarter 2 on 2018.

Six shortlisted for BMF Supplier Engagement Award  


The BMF has announced the finalists for its 2018 Supplier Engagement Award. Six companies, Crystal Direct, Encon Insulation, Kerridge Commercial Systems, The Keystone Group, Marsh Industries and Monument Tools have been shortlisted for the Award from over 280 BMF supplier and service members.  

All six suppliers have actively sought to gain value from their membership by working closely with the BMF during the last 12 months.  They have successfully integrated membership of the BMF within their sales and marketing strategies and supported the BMF through attendance at meetings and events, and through various forms of event sponsorship.  

This is the third year that the Award has been presented.  Previous winners are JCB and Crystal Direct.  

BMF Chief Executive John Newcomb said: “BMF membership covers the whole building materials supply chain and suppliers play a vital role in our industry. This award recognises the outstanding contribution made by our more active supplier and service members, through their participation in training, events and sponsorship. It is one way that we can both thank and congratulate all of this year’s finalists for their support.”  

The winner of the Supplier Engagement Award, which is sponsored by MRA Marketing, will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 27 September.
The BMF has announced the finalists for its 2018 Supplier Engagement Award. Six companies, Crystal Direct, Encon Insulation, Kerridge Commercial Systems, The Keystone Group, Marsh Industries and Monument Tools have been shortlisted for the Award fro

Jon Culshaw to attend Awards Dinner at BMF Members’ Day  


Jon Culshaw, widely regarded as Britain’s best impressionist, will be attending the black-tie Awards Dinner at the BMF’s Members’ Day event on 27 September. The Awards Dinner follows the BMF’s Annual Conference on the same day.  

Jon is a man of many voices, with a catalogue of over 350 impersonations including Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Professor Brian Cox, and comedians John Bishop and Michael McIntyre. He has appeared on multiple TV and radio shows including Spitting image and Dead Ringers, and is currently in the middle of his UK tour, “Great British Take Off”.  

In addition to celebrating the achievements of apprentices and young people in the building material supply industry, and the companies that support their development, the Members’ Day Awards Dinner is one of the BMF’s major charity fundraising events each year. Jon is a passionate supporter of Variety, the children’s charity, the BMF’s Charity of the Year.   

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “We are delighted that Jon will be joining us for our Awards Dinner. He is not only an exceptional performer, he also helped raise a record sum through the charity auction at the BMF All Industry Conference in Budapest last year. The merchant industry is always extremely generous at such events, and we look forward to handing over another significant sum to Variety the Children’s Charity and our industry charity, the Rainy Day Trust.”  

The final tickets for the BMF Members Day Conference and Awards Dinner can be booked at  the BMF website at www.bmf.org.uk/events or by contacting: june.upton@bmf.org.uk.  

The BMF thanks Encon Insulation, the headline sponsor of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference and Awards 2018, and Marsh Industries and Monument Tools, who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.
Jon Culshaw, widely regarded as Britain’s best impressionist, will be attending the black-tie Awards Dinner at the BMF’s Members’ Day event on 27 September. The Awards Dinner follows the BMF’s Annual Conference on the same day.

Finalists announced in BMF Training Awards


The BMF has announced the five companies that have been nominated to represent their region for the title BMF Training Company of the Year.   

The nominations are:   

MGM Timber - Scotland & Northern Ireland   
C & W Berry - North West England, West Midlands & North Wales   
J T Atkinson & Sons - North East England, East Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside   
Chandler Building Supplies - London and Southern England   
Kellaway Building Supplies - South West England and South Wales     

All five have been selected for their commitment in supporting and developing their teams through their use of BMF training.   

MGM Timber was selected for their commitment to training at every level, from existing and potential managers to new apprentices. They currently have 11 apprentices in training through the BMF’s Apprentice Training Agency and 10 Management Diploma students, while a further 60 staff attended in-house training days covering sales, people management and the yard foreman’s toolkit.   

C&W Berry has proved adept at developing young managers through their use of the BMF Diploma, with four candidates on the current course, as well as encouraging staff to develop their product knowledge via MOL distance learning courses.   

J T Atkinson & Sons has made excellent use of BMF one and two day courses this year. In particular staff have been encouraged to develop a broad range of product knowledge through How a House is Built and Measuring Building Quantities workshops.   

Chandler Building Supplies has implemented training and development plans aligned to specific staff graded levels throughout their business. This includes a two-year rolling programme for all new starters covering 12 set courses.  

Kellaway Building Supplies takes a proactive approach to staff training which has created an engaging team-oriented culture which helps them to develop and retain talent within the business. Kellaway’s investment in physical training facilities also benefits other BMF members in the region as they host a BMF Regional Centre of Excellence that’s used for a wide range of the BMF’s open training courses.   

Commenting on the nominations, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “It is clear to see why these companies have been selected to represent their regions, through their approach and commitment to developing staff at all levels. I am delighted that they are making full use of the broad range of formal and specialist training offered by the BMF. Whoever wins the title, each of the nominated merchants are clearly winning in terms of building excellence within their own business.”   

The overall winner will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Awards Dinner, which takes place after the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference on 27 September.
The BMF has announced the five companies that have been nominated to represent their region for the title BMF Training Company of the Year. The nominations are: MGM Timber, C & W Berry, J T Atkinson & Sons, Chandler Building Supplies, Kellaway Buildi

BMF Welcomes London Mayor's new boiler initiative


The announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to encourage London’s SMEs to replace their old, inefficient boilers with modern, energy-efficient models has been welcomed by the BMF.

The Mayor has launched his £10 million Cleaner Heat Cashback scheme to help London’s smaller companies save money on their energy bills and improve the capital’s air quality.  

The BMF was involved in discussions prior to the announcement with City Hall staff and other heating industry partners to consider working arrangements such as eligibility and practicalities.  

Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: “Businesses could save hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills by switching from an older, inefficient boiler or heating system - and this is exactly the kind of initiative that will help us achieve the Mayor’s ambition of making London a zero-carbon city by 2050”.  

“Tackling London’s filthy air is one of the Mayor’s top priorities and this is just the latest in a package of measures that he has introduced to improve the quality of the air we breathe.”  

Commenting on the Mayor’s launch, John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “We welcome and support this announcement that builds on earlier residential schemes by successive Mayors. The fact that Cleaner Heat is now aimed at commercial premises signals not only a political determination to tackle poor air quality, but seeks to change the thinking of SME owners towards their day-to-day running costs”.  

“Significant savings can be made in business costs by upgrading to a modern heating system that BMF members make and supply. The 30% rate is generous and ought to entice companies to act. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has moved to help London firms to cut bills, reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage further investment”.  

The offer is for SMEs based in London with old, inefficient heating system to apply for between 30% to 40% cashback towards a modern, cleaner heating system. It is a first-come, first-serve offer available to building owners, tenants responsible for property maintenance, or tenants who receive permission from landlords to change heating systems. Cleaner Heat Cashback will run until 31 March 2020 - or the £10 million has been allocated - whichever comes first.  

Mr Newcomb noted that in an ideal world, it would be better to have a coherent, fabric-first approach to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces. However, in the absence of proper, long-term national policy, it is not surprising that cities like London decide to use the powers available to them to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.  

This Cleaner Heat Cashback offer follows:
- the current Mayor’s Better Boilers scheme which replaced and repaired inefficient and broken boilers in nearly 500 fuel-poor households
- the previous Mayor’s Boiler Cashback Scheme that succeeded because nearly 40% of owner-occupiers and private residential landlords heard of the offer via their installer which was the single most effective communication route.  

The BMF has campaigned for boiler scrappage as part of the solution to air pollution. In recent years, central and local government have failed to bring down air pollution to within legal limits. Diesel emissions from transport are the main cause but emissions from home heating are also involved. In all its representations to Whitehall and the city councils affected, the BMF has persistently made the case for boiler scrappage scheme(s). They could be city-wide schemes - such as in London - or better still, a fully-financed national scheme from Whitehall.
The announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to encourage London’s SMEs to replace their old, inefficient boilers with modern, energy-efficient models has been welcomed by the BMF.

Online training for profit

by Cortexa, BMF Campus training provider
31 July 2018


BMF CampusThe most successful merchant sales staff exude confidence in their knowledge of building materials and systems, and that confidence helps them to build mutual trust with their customers.  They are not only able to give customers the best advice, they also get most out of every transaction by offering them options, add-on selling and upselling.  

Now it’s easy for every member of the merchant team to increase their base-line knowledge and keep up to date with new products and systems as they come to the market. They just have to get online with BMF Campus, the ultimate product learning system, delivered by the BMF’s partner, Cortexa.

BMF Campus delivers engaging, bite sized programmes on the features and benefits of individual manufacturers’ products, enabling merchant staff to quickly develop their understanding of a wide range of product and technical issues.  The technical courses are complemented by a range of selling and communication skills courses, all available 24/7 via pc and increasingly by mobile devices.  

In addition to a specialist ‘Wood Campus’ section, BMF Campus includes content from over 100 of the industry’s leading building materials and accessories brands to keep staff informed of the latest products and trends in every area from foundations to ridge tiles, and heating systems to hot water taps.

It also offers training in key areas such as Management Skills, Microsoft Office, and Health & Safety Compliance.   

For individual users, access to the system is available free of charge. However, as many merchants want to manage training for their wider staff team, there are three levels of subscription-based service – all available at a reduced cost for BMF members.  If a staff member uses the system as an individual and their company subsequently upgrades to a subscription service all their initial training records are retained on the system for continuity.  

With a subscription service, local managers take full control. They can enroll their staff, add new starters and allocate specific programmes to individuals, for example by linking online training to POS campaigns or product targets for sales staff to match specific promotions. Staff can also be encouraged to use the site to discover as much about different product areas as they can.  

Two of the subscription packages are designed to suit either single site or multi-branch merchants. The Professional Package, which allows up to 30 staff to be registered, is best suited to a single site, while the Enterprise Package provides the facility to manage a network of branches and departments with unlimited numbers of users.  Both subscriptions include “site manager” access enabling merchant managers to run reports and monitor staff activity.  In addition, a recently introduced self select service allows subscribers to access sets of skills courses, with simple monthly payments, with bundles including Customer Service, Health and Safety and Cyber Security.  

A third, Bespoke, subscription is available for companies who want to include additional content, for example company induction, systems or procedural training.  

Whichever option you choose, BMF Campus is the simplest way to quickly build a wide range of skills across the company.  Courses typically take between 20 minutes and an hour to complete, with auto-bookmarking helping with the longer ones.  Every course completed is recorded along with the student’s assessment score, providing an individual learning profile for every staff member.  

To see the current list of products included and to find out how your company can benefit from this service, visit www.bmfcampus.co.uk or telephone Cortexa direct on 01933 227226.  

BMF training ranges from formal Apprenticeships and, with leading British universities, sector-specific Diplomas, Degrees and a Masters Degree in Merchant Leadership and Strategy, to on-line product knowledge and other specialist skills training.    


This article appeared in Training Zone in the July 2018 edition of PBM
Cortexa, BMF training provider, talks about online training for profit: the most successful merchant sales staff exude confidence in their knowledge of building materials and systems, and that confidence helps them to build mutual trust with their cu

BMF’s Dubrovnik Conference sold out!  


The 2019 BMF All Industry Conference, which takes place next June, has sold out in record time, just six weeks after launch.  

There has been a huge amount of interest in the Conference venue – the stunning coastal city of Dubrovnik - and its theme, Building Excellence, since it was launched at the end of this year’s All Industry Conference, hosted by NMBS in Italy. The BMF managed to allocate additional delegate places but the event is now fully subscribed and no further bookings can be accepted.  

Over 80 merchant and 60 supplier companies will be attending the 2019 BMF All Industry Conference. For the first time, those attending will include members from Ireland, following BMF’s group membership agreement with Allied Merchants Buying Association (AMBA), Ireland’s leading independent merchant buying group last year.  

Despite expecting the 2019 Conference to prove popular with the industry, BMF CEO John Newcomb has been astonished at the speed at which it has sold out.  

“There was phenomenal interest in next year’s Conference immediately the venue was announced,” said John Newcomb.  “Yet again we can see how important it is for the whole industry to come together for the biggest event in the industry’s calendar. We have increased the total number of delegates we can accommodate since our last All Industry Conference, to enable 11% more merchants to attend, but we are now absolutely full. It is going to be a fantastic event, and I am only sorry that we cannot accommodate more people.”  

The BMF All Industry Conference takes place from 13-16 June 2019.  The event will be hosted by broadcaster and TV personality, Gethin Jones.  Details of the first keynote speaker will be announced at the BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference and Awards Dinner in September.  

For Conference registration details and regular programme updates visit www.bmfconference.co.uk
The 2019 BMF All Industry Conference, which takes place next June, has sold out in record time, just six weeks after launch. There has been a huge amount of interest in the Conference venue – the stunning coastal city of Dubrovnik - and its theme, Bu

Football’s Wellness Guru to speak at BMF Members Day  


Dr Dorian Dugmore, one of the world’s foremost authorities on corporate wellness and its impact on company performance, is to speak at the BMF’s Members’ Day Annual Conference which takes place on 27 September 2018.  

Dr Dugmore, who has worked in cardiovascular medicine and wellness for 30 years, is on the Board of the League Managers Association at the FA Elite Performance Centre at St George’s Park, where the BMF conference takes place. He invented the Fit to Manage programme, which focuses on reducing stress and heart disease in management and is now used by a wide range of football managers and many other clients.   

He has earned numerous awards for his work, including an MEB “Heart of Britain Award” recognising his contribution to improving life within the community.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Anyone who heard Dorian Dugmore speak at the BMF All Industry Conference back in 2013 knows they can expect a fascinating insight into protecting yourself and your team from the stresses and strains of corporate life. Following on from that event Dorian designed a Wellness Programme specifically tailored for our industry, which BMF has implemented with its own staff, and BMF members will find extremely helpful.”  

The theme of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference 2018 is “The Future belongs to the Bold.” The Business Conference is followed by the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner, which celebrates the achievements of young people working in the industry, both take place on 27 September. 

The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament and other social activities will be held on the previous day, 26 September, when delegates will have a unique opportunity to look around St George’s Park, England football’s magnificent training facility, where Member’s Day is being held.  

The BMF thanks Encon Insulation, the headline sponsor of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference and Awards 2018, and Marsh Industries and Monument Tools, who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.  

There are limited delegate places remaining for the event. To book your place visit the BMF website at www.bmf.org.uk/events or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk.
Dr Dorian Dugmore, one of the world’s foremost authorities on corporate wellness and its impact on company performance, is to speak at the BMF’s Members’ Day Annual Conference which takes place on 27 September 2018.

BMF shortlisted as Trade Association of the Year  


Association Excellence Awards 2018The high standard of member support provided by the BMF has been recognised in the Association Excellence Awards, where the Federation has been nominated in the Association of the Year category.  

The BMF was also shortlisted in the Conference, Website and Leadership categories.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “This is the first time that the BMF has been shortlisted as trade association of the year and I’m delighted to see the team’s work recognised in this way.  Being nominated for such an award reflects the breadth and depth of our work for members. it is only by working diligently to represent and support their interests that the BMF has received this prestigious nomination.”  

The Association Excellence Awards, which are judged by a panel of over 20 CEOs and senior managers, recognise and reward the achievements of UK trade bodies, professional membership organisations and associations. The winners will be announced at an Awards event in London in October.
The high standard of member support provided by the BMF has been recognised in the Association Excellence Awards, where the Federation has been nominated in the Association of the Year category.

A solid May for Merchants


The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) confirms Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 6.9% in May compared with May last year. Overall sales in May were 11.4% higher than in April, helped by one extra trading day. May’s BMBI index was 129.4, up from 116.1 in April.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI represents over 80% of the value of the builders' merchants' market.

Visit www.bmbi.co.uk/the-index to see the full May 2018 report. Read trends, analysis and industry issues from our panel of construction industry experts.

Source: GfK Builders' Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data July 2014 - May 2018.
The latest data released in the BMF’s Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) confirms total Builders Merchant value sales were up 6.9% in May compared with May last year.

Geberit opens latest BMF Regional Centre of Excellence  


Geberit launch BMF Regional Centre of ExcellenceThe BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Geberit in Warwick. The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members around the country.  

The latest centre, the BMF’s 20th Regional Centre of Excellence, based in Geberit’s fantastic purpose-built UK headquarters in Warwick, will serve BMF members in the West Midlands.  

The globally-operating Geberit Group, which owns sanitaryware company Twyford, is a European leader in the field of sanitary products. Geberit operates with a strong local presence in most European countries, providing unique added value when it comes to sanitary technology and bathroom ceramics.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This stunning centre was opened on 19 July. The centre is well used by Geberit’s clients, and we are extremely grateful that they are opening it to our members too. We look forward to holding future forums, training courses and regional meetings here.”  

Brent Hudson, Marketing and Product Management Director, said: “The move to our new bespoke premises in Warwick last year gave us the opportunity to create this fantastic hub. Our ambition was to provide a centre that represents all that the Geberit brand stands for as well as offering visitors the opportunity to experience Geberit products, services and support first hand. Everyone at Geberit is delighted that our facilities have now been recognised by the BMF and we look forward to welcoming even more guests through the doors in the coming weeks and months.”  

Forthcoming BMF meetings already booked at Geberit, Warwick include the Plumbing & Heating Forum on 6 November, the West Midlands regional meeting on 21 November and a three day Leadership Skills for Supervisors course on 4-6 December.  Members can book events here and training here.



Pictured L-R: James Spillane (BMF Regional Manager – West Midlands, North West and North Wales), Mark Larden (Geberit Managing Director), Brent Hudson (Geberit Marketing & Product Director), John Newcomb (BMF CEO), Graham Aird (Geberit Training Manager)

The BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Geberit in Warwick. The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members around the country.

£1billion VAT bombshell for building supplies  


A £1billion VAT bombshell will hit building supplies to the UK if builders merchants are forced to pay 20% VAT upfront on European timber and other materials.   

Parliament voted this week to ban the UK from raising taxes bound for the EU unless the EU also collects tax for the UK. If the UK exits the EU without a mutually beneficial customs arrangements, UK businesses face having to pay 20% more for imports from the EU and will have to do this upfront before goods can leave EU ports.   

Building supplies will be particularly impacted, with a knock on effect on costs of construction and, potentially, the UK housing market. The BMF, which is the trade body for builders merchants and their suppliers, has warned of serious and immediate implications for cashflow, costs and prices, given that the UK is heavily reliant on imports for materials such as timber, bricks and paint.   

60% of timber used in UK building comes from the EU, mainly Sweden, Finland and Latvia, and the added costs are £1billion. For bricks, imported mainly from Belgium and Holland, the post Brexit changes would add costs of £160m, while for paint, which comes from across the EU, added costs are estimated to be around £80m.   

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said: “Merchants already face significant cost increases due to rising world prices and currency fluctuations involving Sterling. Paying 20% more due to VAT rules will hit builders merchants hard”.
A £1billion VAT bombshell will hit building supplies to the UK if builders merchants are forced to pay 20% VAT upfront on European timber and other materials.

Chandlers Building Supplies scoop BMF Mastermerchant trophy for second year running  


“The Merchants of Menace” from Chandlers Building Supplies fought off the tough challenge for the second year running from 13 teams to lift the 2018 BMF Mastermerchant trophy, presented to the winners of the industry’s annual team building challenge. Team members were Pierre Krause, Kayleigh Sinclair, Trevor Mudd, Sean Sinclair.  

Alumasc Water Management Solutions took the 2018 Super Supplier Award, as the top performing supplier. The team comprised Pete Wainer, Wayne Willmott, Damascus Msumba and Pete Hickman.  

The competition, held over a weekend in the Lake District, involves a range of challenges that test the teams’ communication and problem-solving ability as much as their physical perseverance. This is a fun event with a serious purpose as the competition is designed to help colleagues learn more about each other’s strengths and skills and what can be accomplished through teamwork.  

As usual, many of this year’s tasks involved getting wet. If contestants weren’t climbing sheer rock faces, canoeing on the lake, or scrambling through rocks and streams, they were trying to uncover clues, crack codes and guide team mates in the stunning setting of the Lake District.  

Congratulating the winners and all those taking part BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “This is a fantastic team-building event and I’m delighted that so many teams from merchant and supplier members take part every year. It’s a great way for people to get to know each other better and work together as a team. We have been fortunate to enjoy some amazing weather for the challenge this year.”  

John added “I would like to thank IOBM for their sponsorship this year and management development company Stephen Lee Associates who devised the weekend’s events again.”
“The Merchants of Menace” from Chandlers Building Supplies fought off the tough challenge for the second year running from 13 teams to lift the 2018 BMF Mastermerchant trophy, presented to the winners of the industry’s annual team building challenge.

Peter Hindle MBE to extend term as BMF Chairman  


The BMF has confirmed that Peter Hindle MBE will remain in post as Chairman until March 2020. The 12-month extension of his term of office will provide continuity at Board level as the BMF focuses on its next stage of development.  

The BMF is currently undertaking a long-term strategy review. They will be sharing their plans for the next five years at Members’ Day in September.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Peter was instrumental in the development of our initial strategic roadmap and the Board and myself are extremely pleased that he has agreed to continue as Chairman during the latest phase of development and implementation.  

“Our strategic focus on areas where we can best support our members and provide real leadership to the industry has been instrumental in revitalising the BMF and growing membership to its current high point of 650 companies. But the market we operate within is constantly evolving. Our latest strategy is designed both to reflect current changes and anticipate future developments and I am looking forward to working with the Board and the BMF team to deliver benefit to all members.”  

Peter Hindle MBE said: “I am encouraged by the progress the BMF has made in representing the building materials supply chain and promoting professionalism throughout the whole merchant industry. I am happy to have played a role within this and to continue my Chairmanship of the BMF for a further year. We are fortunate to have a relatively young board, with several directors joining within the last 12 months, and the BMF will undoubtedly benefit from their drive and enthusiasm in the future.”
The BMF has confirmed that Peter Hindle MBE will remain in post as Chairman until March 2020. The 12-month extension of his term of office will provide continuity at Board level as the BMF focuses on its next stage of development.

Moray MP visits Keith Builders Merchants to hear expansion plans  


Moray MP Douglas Ross visited KBM main branch and head office on Friday 6 July. He met up with Jeff Smith MD and fellow director Kevin Mitchell along with Graham Bolton BMF regional manager.  

During his visit, Jeff Smith gave Douglas Ross a brief history of how KBM started and grew into the company it is today, employing 50 people, and briefed him on further expansion plans for the Forres branch which will create more jobs.  

Commenting afterwards Douglas said: “I really enjoyed my visit to the Keith branch and I’m grateful to Jeff for a very interesting meeting and tour. It was good to learn a little more about the business. It is always interesting to meet up with local businesses. It was good to hear about their expansion plans, it’s positive for Moray that this local firm is doing well and looking grow further, creating jobs and adding a further boost to the local economy, as well as serving the many customers they have here in Moray and further afield.”  

Jeff added: “It was a pleasure to meet Douglas and to find that Members of Parliament would meet local businesses and show a genuine interest in our development. As a business covering all of Moray KBM have always demonstrated a commitment to community involvement through initiatives such as our community charity fund. We look forward to working with Douglas closely in the future to help maintain a socially responsible business. Particular thanks go to Karen Freel and Graham Bolton for arranging the introduction and visit.”  

BMF’s Graham Bolton concluded: “It is great to see politicians like Douglas taking an interest in BMF members businesses. We believe that visiting our members will play an important part in developing their understanding, both of local business issues and the role builders merchants play in delivering the materials required to create the new homes our country needs.”         
Moray MP Douglas Ross visited KBM main branch and head office on Friday 6 July. He met up with Jeff Smith MD and fellow director Kevin Mitchell along with Graham Bolton BMF regional manager.

Colin Clark MP Visits Inverurie Builders Merchants GPH  


Colin Clark MP for Gordon visited the Inverurie premises of GPH on Friday 6 July. Mike Macauley Chairman and Grant Shewan MD along with fellow directors Ken Findlay and John Glover had an interesting and productive meeting with Colin where many subjects were covered. Also present at the meeting were Graham Bolton Regional Manager of the BMF.  

A wide range of issues were covered including Business Rates, Local Authority Contracts, Building of Affordable Housing and Brexit Effect on NE Scotland. Lengthy discussion was held on the lack of support in public procurement for local SME suppliers and sub-contractors to benefit from large publicly funded construction projects, such as Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre and Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. 

Grant Shewan commented “We are grateful to Colin for taking the time to visit our Inverurie depot. As a local business in the North East of Scotland with 120 employees, it is important that the challenges facing our business are heard by our local elected member. We look forward to working closely with Colin on these issues in the future.”  

Colin Clark added “As MP for Gordon I am really keen to visit local companies to discuss issues that affect them. GPH is the largest independent merchants north of Dundee. A stalwart of the NE supplying trades people and keen DIY for over 30 years. Worryingly self builds are drying up and several local smaller scale builders have failed. I want to see the economy of the Gordon Constituency and the North East continue grow stronger. The message is clear Gordon is open for business and I will always support local businesses who drive the local economy.”  

Graham Bolton summed up “It is good to see local politicians like Colin taking an interest in BMF members and appreciating the challenges which face our members not only in NE Scotland but throughout the UK.”                    
Colin Clark MP for Gordon visited the Inverurie premises of GPH on Friday 6 July. Mike Macauley Chairman and Grant Shewan MD along with fellow directors Ken Findlay and John Glover had an interesting and productive meeting with Colin where many subje