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BMF members account for approx. £928 million annual sales, employ more than 3,000 people, and trade from 280 locations in Wales.
The Welsh Senedd and Welsh Government have devolved responsibilities for:
- economic development
- climate change, net zero & energy-efficiency
- education, training & skills
- construction & infrastructure
- housing & planning
- water & flood defence.
The BMF is a member of the Wales Construction Federation Alliance, an industry collective of trade associations, employers’ federations and professional bodies that represent Welsh companies active today in the construction, house-building & property RMI markets.
The BMF also participates in the Welsh Construction Forum, a joint private-public sector initiative that brings together government, construction and social partners. The aim is to support the foundational economy in Wales to ‘build back better’ for a greener, zero carbon economy - and to develop the low-carbon skills that Wales needs.
The Welsh Government took a strict line on public health protection and was the only nation to pass new regulations making it a legal duty for employers to maintain 2-metre social distancing on work premises. They had to take all reasonable measures to comply.
In the Welsh Recovery Roadmap, construction and its supply chain was not required to close. Many stayed open using safe working practices. It was pleasing to see the Roadmap say that small construction companies cannot operate effectively if our merchants remain shut.
The Welsh Government asked for our help to support the NHS, local authorities and housing associations during the lockdown. The BMF provided a list of emergency contacts so that their maintenance teams could obtain materials or products urgently from their local merchant.
Another BMF achievement was being asked by the Welsh Government to give them views on what ministers should focus their efforts to boost post-Covid productivity. We provided the Minister for Housing & Local Government with practical ideas on net zero emissions; business rates; public procurement and prompt payment. These issues are being pursued with officials.
The BMF continues to lobby the Welsh Government on the need for a much fairer tendering process, particularly for SME merchants. But a recent UK Government consultation has focussed on the larger infrastructure projects. The Welsh Government will consider the outcome of this before deciding if there is need to produce legislation for Welsh purposes. We engage with Welsh Government officials who are aware of our concerns.
Optimised RetroFit Programme
The Welsh Government’s Optimised RetroFit programme is a whole-house approach to decarbonising homes. It is open to Registered Social Landlords and local authorities to install a variety of decarbonisation measures in existing housing. The BMF has been heavily involved in the ORP from the start.
We were on the panel which approved a number of trial projects and have since attended regular meetings with other organisations involved. We also arranged an online seminar for merchants to understand the scheme. In conjunction with the Welsh Government and a large housing association, the BMF will host a large display trailer in merchant branches and carry promotional literature to showcase the Optimised RetroFit and what is seeks to achieve.
Your first point-of-contact is David Harding on (01686) 640630 or