BMF News

Final line-up for BMF All-Industry Conference Forum  


The BMF has confirmed the final speaker line up for its popular Industry Forum debate at this year’s All-Industry Conference.  Mark Vandecruys, Chairman of Belgium-based Fedrus International, and Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer of Jewson will join the previously announced speakers, David Young of Bradfords Building Supplies and Tony France of Ibstock Brick.  

Bringing a European dimension to the debate, Mark Vandecruys is the co-owner and Chairman of Fedrus International, an independent Belgian distributor specialising in roofing and façade materials.  Over the last ten years, Mark has overseen the growth of the group from a small entity to a multinational business using a buy-and-build strategy. The company now comprises five operational units with total revenues of €650m and over 1550 employees. Mark also serves on the board of a number of companies, including BOSS paints. He is an alumni of Harvard Business School and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Vlerick Business School, contributing to their development programmes and acting as a sounding board for their entrepreneurship department.  

Neil Lawrence is both Chief Operating Officer for Jewson and Managing Director for Local Merchant Group, the latter a division of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK & Ireland comprising the brands Gibbs & Dandy, Chadwicks, JP Corry, Normans, DHS, Benchmark Building Supplies, Matthew Charlton and Roger W Jones.  Neil’s career in merchanting spans over 35 years, since he started working life as a yard hand at UBM, moving through various roles within that business before it was acquired by Jewson.  He has experienced merchanting at every level, as a branch manager in Devon and Cornwall, an Area Director for the Midlands, and as Regional Director before joining the Jewson Main Board initially as Operations Director and then Sales & Operations Director.  In 2011 he was appointed MD of Gibbs and Dandy, the Saint-Gobain division that became Local Merchant Group in 2013. He took up the COO role at Jewson in December 2018, shortly after he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Builders Merchants Awards for Excellence that year. Neil is also the merchant advisor to the BMF board.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “The Industry Forum is one of the most engaging sessions at the BMF’s biennial Conference, setting the tone for our Saturday programme. With Neil and Mark completing our panel of speakers I can guarantee delegates will be presented with a broad range of perspectives on building materials supply in a post-Brexit environment before the debate is opened to the floor.”      
The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by the Crystal Clear Group, takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF has confirmed the final speaker line up for its popular Industry Forum debate at this year’s All-Industry Conference.

Williamson praises expansion of Derby Builders' Merchant 


Unrelenting determination by national government and by local authorities is required to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply. And the number of small firms involved must increase if the drive to build more homes in the East Midlands is to succeed. 

That was the message from Browns Builders Merchants to Chris Williamson MP when he visited Derby’s oldest building materials’ business on the West Meadows Industrial Estate. 

Mr Williamson was welcomed by Jim Parlato, Browns’ Director, to see how Browns has invested in the business to open a second branch. The relocation of their heavyside operation to new premises means Browns has improved its Old Nottingham Road branch to expand the range of plumbing and heating, bathrooms, and fencing and landscape products. 

Browns Builders Merchants and its trade body, the BMF, want more done to ‘change the ratio’ between the small number of large builders and the large number of small builders to foster a diverse, functioning housebuilding market. 

Official figures show the East Midlands has relied on changes of use in existing buildings to increase housing. Derby and Nottingham are cities where between 30% and 55% of new homes last year were in buildings that had a previous purpose. According to Mr Parlato, encouraging SMEs into the market to build small projects, in many locations, is vital to boost housing numbers. 

After visiting the new branch, Derby North MP Chris Williamson said, “I was delighted to visit Browns and it’s great to see a long-standing Derby business flourishing. I pay tribute to Branch Manager, Lea Armstrong, and the team in opening a new branch. Better quality and more affordable housing is urgently needed to improve constituents’ lives. As a former bricklayer myself, I know merchants play a vital role in housebuilding and especially the repair, maintenance and improvement market. I wish them continued success in the coming years”. 

Jim Parlato, Director of Browns Builders Merchants, added, “We were pleased to welcome Chris Williamson and show him how Browns has evolved over a hundred and fifty years. We have chosen to invest and expand our business by opening a second branch to give better service to our trade and retail customers. It is great to have our MP take an interest in Browns and I hope Chris can help to raise the profile of merchants like us in Parliament”. 

This visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs how trade essentials and value-added products move from quarries, brickworks, sawmills, and factories to where they are needed - and to outline the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities. 
Unrelenting determination by national government and by local authorities is required to narrow the gap between housing demand and supply.

Breaking down the borders in Ireland’s merchant trade 


BMF Ireland regional meetingThe BMF held an historic meeting consisting of members from across the island of Ireland gathered together for the first time last week.  

Twenty four delegates, representing 12 merchants and several building material suppliers from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, attended the meeting at the BMF’s first Regional Centre of Excellence south of the border, at the Xtratherm Innovation Centre in Navan. 

The meeting, which was jointly chaired by David Haldane, BMF Regional Chair for Northern Ireland, and Dennis O’Connor, AMBA Chairman, focused on bringing together merchants and suppliers who shared a mutual interest in improving all aspects of their business including improving the customer experience and promoting awareness of the merchant industry, both as a career and to other industries such as architects and engineers.    

Other key areas of commonality included promotion of Health & Safety and responding to the challenges of on-line and “direct to market” competition which was followed by a presentation from eCommonsense on digital opportunities.  

Brexit and the border issue prompted further discussion, with BMF CEO John Newcomb providing an update from their recent Brexit Forum together with BMF Policy Officer, Brett Amphlett’s key tips on preparing for No Deal.   

Speaking after the event, John Newcomb said: “We, at the BMF are delighted to facilitate a meeting with some of the best merchants and suppliers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where open and constructive dialogue could take place covering key areas of commonality that add value to members businesses. The feedback from delegates in attendance is excellent and we look forward to continuing to deliver our benefits to our members.”


For information and to book your place on BMF regional meetings and Forums click here.

The BMF held an historic meeting consisting of members from across the island of Ireland gathered together for the first time last week.

BMF Burns Supper raises £4,625 for charity  

31 January 2019

2019 BMF Burns SupperThe BMF raised £4,625 to share between Variety, the Children’s Charity, the BMF’s charity of the year, and the merchant industry charity, The Rainy Day Trust, at its annual Burns Supper, held at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel.  

The event, which celebrates the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, is now an established fixture in the BMF’s calendar attracting 285 members from both sides of the Scottish border.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Once again the BMF’s Scottish region has organised a fantastic event and, in the year of his retirement, it is fitting that it took place in the hometown of Britain’s greatest tennis player, Andy Murray.  Our thanks go to sponsors Velux, Rockwool, eCommonsense, Marley Plumbing & Drainage Solutions, Marsh Industries and BMN, and to all those who donated prizes for the charity raffle and auction for their generous support.  We must also thank everyone who helped to raise such a fantastic sum for the two charities we are supporting this year.”


Click here to view the images from Burns Supper 2019
Click here to view and book forthcoming BMF events
The BMF raised £4,625 for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and the merchant industry charity, The Rainy Day Trust, at its annual Burns Supper, held at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel.

BMF launches Building Blocks online training for merchant starters  


BMF Building BlocksThe BMF has launched Building Blocks, a new online training programme designed to introduce apprentices and other new starters to the intricacies of life in a builders’ merchant.  

The first two Building Blocks in the series – Timber as a Building Material and Heating and Hot Water Comfort - are now live on the BMF Campus website and can also be delivered via merchants’ own Learning Management Systems.  

Key product groups will be covered in further blocks and the programme ultimately builds into a comprehensive guide to the industry and products sold by every type of merchant.  

Each multi-media training block combines a range of video, animations and interactive content to bring the subjects to life.  The content is further reinforced with programmed learning in the form of downloadable reading/reference material and weblinks.  

The Building Blocks programme is being developed in conjunction with the BMF’s e-learning partner, Cortexa, an approved centre for Occupational Awards. Successful completion of each block will earn credits for the learner towards an online Merchant Award. This award, which is planned for publication later in the year, will require the learner to complete at least four blocks and pass a final exam.  

With fifteen e-learning Blocks planned for introduction over the next two years, BMF Building Blocks is set to be a fully accredited online programme that will define the standard of product training in the merchant industry.   

BMF Membership services Director, Richard Ellithorne said: “Online learning is a powerful and cost-effective way to deliver product and technical training.  The BMF Building Blocks programme is a 21st Century replacement for the old MOL distance learning workbook series, which had become dated both in terms of content and mode of delivery. We are working closely with Cortexa to create new rich media content and with our supplier members to ensure that the latest technologies and techniques are included in the programme.”  

Find out more about BMF Building Blocks at www.bmfcampus.co.uk

The BMF has launched Building Blocks, a new online training programme designed to introduce apprentices and other new starters to the intricacies of life in a builders’ merchant.

Weaker November propped up by robust Timber & Joinery sales

29 January 2019

Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 0.8% in November compared with November 2017. Four categories did better, including Timber and Joinery Products (+3.9%), the second-largest category. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+3.3%) had its highest monthly sales since BMBI started in July 2014.  

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 November 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 - November 2018.   
BMBI
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 0.8% in November compared with November 2017. Four categories did better, including Timber & and Joinery Products (+3.9%).

BMF Members favour Brexit renegotiation  


Members of the BMF attending the BMF Brexit Forum this week (23 January) had a clear message for Theresa May – go back to Brussels and renegotiate the exit deal.  

Over 80 delegates from merchant and supplier companies attended the event. They were briefed on the impact of Brexit on the UK Economy, on VAT & Customs & Excise, on UK Timber supply, and on UK building materials manufacturers before taking part in animated open forum discussions.  

Delegates were asked to vote on their preferred way forward. A clear majority, 55%, favoured renegotiation of the current exit deal, with 35% opting for a second “People’s Referendum” to determine the way forward.  Only 10% wanted a “No Deal” exit.  

Speaking after the event, John Newcomb BMF CEO, said, “The sheer number of members attending demonstrates the need for clarity on our relationship with the EU to plan for the future.  Unclear doesn’t begin to describe the current situation, but I’m sure everyone took some reassurance from the various presentations, and I would like to thank all the speakers for their contributions.   

“Three clear themes emerged from the day.  if you are not already preparing for a no deal, then start to plan now.  Be agile, one of the presenters identified a completely new supplier as a result of their Brexit planning. Finally, don’t believe everything you read in the media – we are in the midst of a high stakes negotiation after all.”  

Presentations at the event were given by the CBI, West Midlands Economic Forum, the Timber Trades Federation, the accountancy firm Mazars and BMF supplier member, ACO Technologies.
Members of the BMF attending the BMF Brexit Forum this week (23 January) had a clear message for Theresa May – go back to Brussels and renegotiate the exit deal.

First speakers announced for BMF All-Industry Conference Forum  

24 January 2019

David Young (left) and Tony FranceThe BMF has confirmed that David Young, Managing Director of Bradfords Building Supplies and Tony France, Sales Director of Ibstock Brick will take part in in a lively Industry Forum debate at this year’s All-Industry Conference, which takes place in June in Dubrovnik.  

The Industry Forum is one of the most popular sessions at the BMF’s biennial Conference, bringing together delegates from every sector of the industry to debate key business issues of the day.  The scene is set with initial presentations by four industry leaders, with many years of experience between them, before the debate is opened to the floor.  

Of the first two speakers to be named, Tony France will give a suppliers’ view, while David Young will draw on his current role, heading one of the country’s largest independents, and his earlier merchanting career within the Wolseley Group.  

Tony France is Sales Director of Ibstock Brick, the UK’s market-leading brick manufacturer with 21 factories producing over 800 million bricks a year.  He is also Supplier Advisor to the BMF Board and the BMBI ‘Expert’ for Bricks. Tony has worked in the brick industry for 34 years since joining the sales team of Steetley Brick & Tile in 1985. Having worked through the acquisitions of Steetley by Redland in 1992, then of Redland by Ibstock in 1996, he has seen a lot of change in the industry most of which, he says, for the good.  He has always worked closely with Builders Merchants, forming strong relationships and a deep passion for the sector.  He has also attended every BMF Conference since his first in Barcelona in 1994.  

David Young specialises in developing businesses through strong relationships with customers, suppliers and employees.  He has been Managing Director of Bradfords Building Supplies since 2015, heading a business that encompasses 43 builders merchants, 23 plumbing and heating branches, 23 toolhire branches and 7 kitchens and bathroom showrooms. He has worked in the construction materials industry throughout his career, joining the Wolseley UK graduate sales management training scheme in 1996.  He ran his first branch the following year and undertook a number of sales and operational roles within the Build Center brand, becoming Build Center trading director for the southwest in 2006 before moving to a national role with Drain Center five years later.  He joined Bradfords Building Supplies in 2014 as Business Development Director before taking up to his current role. 

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “With our Conference theme of “Building Excellence” we will be exploring how our industry can thrive no matter what the challenges presented by external environments beyond our control.  I’m delighted that David and Tony, who both have a wealth of experience in managing through change, have accepted our invitation to help set the agenda for this unmissable debate.”

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
David Young, MD of Bradfords Building Supplies and Tony France, Sales Director of Ibstock Brick will take part in in a lively Industry Forum debate at this June’s All-Industry Conference, taking place in Dubrovnik.

BMF opens second BMF Regional Centre of Excellence at Xtratherm 

22 January 2018

Pictured L-R: Richard Graves (Xtratherm Director, UK Sales and Marketing), John Newcomb (BMF CEO), Zoe Laing (Xtratherm UK Sales Support), Mark Terry (BMF Regional Manager) The BMF has launched its 24th Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of Xtratherm, the second BMF Centre hosted by the thermal insulation manufacturing company. The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members around the UK and Ireland. The latest centre, based in Xtratherm’s excellent premises in Chesterfield, will serve BMF members in Derbyshire.  

Xtratherm is a leading European manufacturer of thermal insulation with two factories based in Ireland and the UK. With over 30 years’ experience, Xtratherm has led the way in developing innovative thermal solutions, through advancement in product performance and detailing, backed by a team that understands the technical issues and best on-site practices.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to open our second Regional Centre of Excellence at Xtratherm and our 24th in total. It’s a superb facility where members can meet and attend BMF training courses, regional meetings and other regional events.”  

Richard Graves, Director UK Sales & Marketing said “The Xtratherm exhibition space and training academy has been developed to assist construction professionals in understanding the principles of specifying and achieving on-site, best practice insulation standards for new dwellings, commercial envelope solutions and refurbishment projects. We are delighted to open our doors to BMF members and to assist in promoting industry best practice.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please click here and for more information about Xtratherm visit https://www.xtratherm.com.
The BMF has launched its 24th Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of Xtratherm, the 2nd BMF Centre hosted by the thermal insulation manufacturing company.

Award-winning landscaper and TV presenter to host BMF Members Annual Conference


David DomoneyThe 2019 BMF Members Annual Conference and Awards, which takes the theme Together we are Stronger, will be hosted by the TV broadcaster and garden designer David Domoney.  

David, who has won 30 Royal Horticultural Society Medals and two Best in Show category trophies, is a familiar face on prime-time television.  He presents landscaping and construction on ITV1’s flagship gardening show, Love Your Garden and is the resident garden designer on the popular This Morning programme. He also presents on Saturday Morning with James Martin.  

David organises an annual national competition for Young Designers and Construction Landscapers in association with HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince’s Foundation.  In 2018 he was awarded The Prince Edward Award for Excellence in Horticulture for his work promoting careers in horticulture and landscaping.  

David’s appearance will be hosted by Pavestone, a first-time key sponsor at the BMF’s prestigious annual event.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “As a professional presenter who is hands on with construction, David has a combination of skills and experience that give him a real understanding of our industry. We are delighted that he will host this year’s BMF Members’ Conference and thank Pavestone for their support.”  

The BMF Members Annual Conference and black-tie Awards Dinner takes place on 19 September at St George’s Park, Burton on Trent, the home of England’s national football teams.  The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament will be held on the previous day, 18th September at the newly-opened JCB Golf and Country Club.  

The BMF thanks our Members’ Conference headline sponsor, Encon Insulation, as well as Marsh Industries and JCB, sponsors of the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.  

For more information on BMF Members’ Day click here or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk
The 2019 BMF Members Annual Conference and Awards, which takes the theme Together we are Stronger, will be hosted by the TV broadcaster and garden designer David Domoney.

CRS Building Supplies joins BMF as tenth branch opens  


Somerset-based CRS Building Supplies, the latest member of the h&b buying group to join the BMF, is set for a further year of expansion with their tenth branch opening in Bridgewater this month.  

The company, which began with nine employees and one outlet in Cheddar in June 2005, has extended its operations throughout the county opening nearly a branch a year since 2008. Today CRS employs 115 staff and its turnover in 2018 exceeded £30 million.

One of CRS’ founding directors, Richard Liddle said, “Our original intention was to run an independent builders’ merchant based on simplicity in every aspect of the business and this remains our core philosophy today. We are long term members of both NMBS and the h&b buying group; while each has played an important role in our success, our staff members are far and away our best quality. It goes without saying that investing in building our team has always been a priority and one of the main reasons we are joining the BMF is to participate in the excellent BMF Apprenticeship Scheme.”  

Welcoming CRS Building Supplies into membership, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “We are delighted to support dynamic independent merchants like CRS. Like them, the BMF recognises the importance of encouraging new talent and supporting staff development throughout their careers. Building skills through training is one of the key strategic themes of our new Building Excellence strategy, and we look forward to working with CRS and assisting their growing team.”  

John Newcomb added, “Providing tailored services, specifically targeted to each members’ current business needs is spurring the growth of the BMF, with total membership now standing at 680 merchant and supplier companies. This continued rise strengthens our position as the leading trade association within the building materials industry and enables us to invest in an even wider array of services to promote our industry and support our members.” 
Somerset-based CRS Building Supplies, the latest member of the h&b buying group to join the BMF, is set for a further year of expansion with their tenth branch opening in Bridgewater this month.

BMF Training receives CPD Accreditation  


In line with its ambition to encourage life-long learning throughout the building materials industry, the BMF is gaining independent accreditation for its training courses through the globally recognised CPD Certification Service.  

Three BMF courses, How a House is Built, Managing for Success and Measuring Building Quantities, have been CPD accredited to date with more due to follow later this year.  

Being accredited means that the learning activity has reached internationally-recognised Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmarks, and that the learning value of each course has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality.  

Anyone completing a BMF CPD accredited course will receive a formal CPD certificate of attendance stating the number of CPD hours attained. This benefits not only the individual by providing evidence of professional development, it will also help managers to maintain up-to-date training records and ensure that all members of staff are supported in developing skills and adapting to changes in working practice throughout their careers.  

Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director said, “The BMF’s industry-leading training is one of the key benefits enjoyed by members and it is a logical step to ensure that our specialist training courses are accredited as appropriate to national and international standards. CPD accreditation provides that assurance. We are extremely pleased that our first three courses have passed the assessment process. We are now working on several other courses we offer to be independently assessed and accredited as soon as possible.”  

Find out more about BMF training courses at www.bmf.org.uk or contact BMF Training Co-ordinator, Paige Godsell on 02476 854989.
In line with its ambition to encourage life-long learning throughout the building materials industry, the BMF is gaining independent accreditation for its training courses through the globally recognised CPD Certification Service.

OX Tools UK joins the BMF  


OX Tools UK is the latest supplier to join the BMF.  

The company’s hand tool range was born in 1974 in Australia and launched under the OX brand in the UK in 2012. With extremely high quality products, a strong brand and competitive pricing, the range has proved a massive success. The company currently employs over 50 people in the UK and anticipates turnover of £19 million in 2018.  

OX hand tools are recognised as tough, dynamic, dependable and importantly, affordable. Its Spectrum Diamond Tool range is seen as the leading brand of choice and at the forefront of diamond tool technology.  

Jason Elkins, OX Group’s National Accounts Manager – UK & Europe, said, “OX Group are delighted to be joining the BMF, the voice of the Builders Merchant Industry. We see an excellent synergy as many of the BMF members are already long term and strategic customers of OX Group. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet the owners and senior directors of these businesses and look to continuing to grow these long term relationships.  

“We also see the data and information that is only available to BMF members as vital to the ongoing success of our business and preparing us for the changes that lie ahead in the industry.”  

Welcoming OX Group into membership, John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said, “It is especially gratifying to see the value placed on BMF's data, information and networking services by OX Group. We aim to support every size and type of business involved in building materials supply in the UK.  This includes relatively recent entrants to the UK market, like OX, and others that have been established for well over 100 years, like the BMF itself.”
OX Tools UK is the latest supplier to join the BMF. The company’s hand tool range was born in 1974 in Australia and launched under the OX brand in the UK in 2012. With extremely high quality products, a strong brand and competitive pricing, the rang

Counter-terrorism chief to speak at BMF All-Industry Conference


Richard Walton, a former Commander at New Scotland Yard who led London’s Counter Terrorism Command both during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 is to speak at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June.

Richard, who spent the majority of his thirty-year policing career in the counter-terrorism field, was Head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) between 2011-2016. In 2015, he featured in the ‘Debrett’s 500’ list of most influential people in Britain in recognition of his contribution to countering terrorism.

Since leaving the Met he founded Counter Terrorism Global Ltd, a company that facilitates the design and implementation of solutions for countering terrorism and extremism to public, private and non- government sectors. He has also provided advice to governments in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Richard not only speaks at international conferences on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, he also regularly presents on these subjects on British and international media networks.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Our Conference theme is Building Excellence and will explore “excellence” from many different angles. Businesses have to protect themselves against all manner of different threats – including many, particularly in the cyber-world, that no-one would have imagined just a few years ago. I’m looking forward to a fascinating presentation and I have no doubt that we will learn a great deal by discovering how to see everyday events through Richard’s eyes.”

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
Richard Walton, a former Commander at New Scotland Yard who led London’s Counter Terrorism Command both during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 is to speak at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik

BMF and MPs combine to support SME housebuilders


The interests of smaller housebuilders are not properly understood nor advanced at Westminster - and that must improve if England is to build anywhere near 300,000 new homes per year. That is not just the view of the BMF but also MPs intent on showcasing and promoting smaller firms as a vital part in the mix of housing solutions.

At the first meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for SME Housebuilders, members of both Houses confirmed Andrew Lewer, Conservative MP for Northampton South, as Chairman.

The APPG is being launched at a time when MPs who represent market towns and small historic cities face growing pains because not enough homes are being built to support the local economy. The aim of the Group is to provide answers to Parliament and Government on how England can deliver more and better new homes, especially through SME housebuilders.

Participants want to see more muscular action from central and local government to ensure that promises to build homes “as soon as possible” are taken literally and completions are accelerated.

Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy and Public Affairs’ Manager, attended and said afterwards, “The BMF welcomes renewed efforts to support and mobilise SME firms that are the customers of merchants. The objective of this APPG chimes with BMF work to change the ratio between volume housebuilders and the other vital players in the market. Andrew Lewer and other MPs involved have practical, real-world knowledge from their days before election to Parliament to contribute to help solve today’s housing crisis. I am grateful to Mr Lewer for inviting the BMF”.

Discussion focussed on encouraging privately-owned SMEs to return to the market and do what they do best - building a small number of homes, in very many locations, often in keeping with their surroundings, that voters what to buy, to boost the overall number and type of homes completed.

Two early themes emerged from this first meeting:

- Richard Bacon MP outlined the work he and others are doing with self- and custom-builders to help diversify the supply of new homes
- Lord Naseby wondered how small housing projects can be delivered at scale and queried the role of Homes England. Many feel that the agency is not sympathetic to SMEs because it is ledby people who have no practical experience of delivering homes.

The next meeting of the APPG for SME Housebuilders is in February at which Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England, is scheduled to speak.

The interests of smaller housebuilders are not properly understood nor advanced at Westminster - and that must improve if England is to build anywhere near 300,000 new homes per year. That is not just the view of the BMF but also MPs intent on showca

JCB to sponsor BMF Golf Day at exclusive new Club

 
There will be a new look to the BMF annual Golf Day in 2019, following the announcement of JCB as the new sponsor for the event.  

The 2019 Golf Experience will take place at the stunning new JCB Golf and Country Club on September 18, the day before the BMF’s annual Members’ Conference and Awards Dinner, which will be held at St George’s Park on September 19 and sponsored for the third year by Encon.  

The JCB Golf and Country Club, which opened for play in September, reflects the bold, ambitious vision of Lord Bamford, chairman of the iconic construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer: a par 72, tour-ready championship course that stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best courses in the world. Designed by the world-renowned landscape architect Robin Hiseman and set amid the lush green rolling countryside of Staffordshire, the course along with luxury accommodation and dining offers the ultimate in golfing retreats.   

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “We are absolutely delighted that JCB has agreed to sponsor our annual Golf day and to hold it at their prestigious and exclusive Golf and Country Club.  This is a unique opportunity for BMF members to be amongst the first to play at this world-class course, which is built around the parkland of the ruined Woodseat Hall, adjacent to JCB’s HQ in Rocester.”   

Bookings for the day are strictly on a first-come, first served basis and will be exclusively available to BMF merchant members until 31st March 2019. 

Those taking part will be able to use the club’s practice range and simulator from 10am and take light refreshments in the club house before the golf tournament starts at 1pm.  Play will be followed by a drinks reception and BBQ.  

To find out more and to reserve a place at this exclusive event, contact June.Upton@bmf.org.uk
There will be a new look to the BMF annual Golf Day in 2019, following the announcement of JCB as the new sponsor for the event.