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Membership

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 Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

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BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

Learn More



BMF Members' Day Annual Conference and Awards

18-19 September 2019

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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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BMF Mastermerchant
12-14 July 2019
 
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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Pavestone Rally
5-8 September 2019

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Latest News



Here are the latest news stories from the BMF

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

Notts MP sees the opportunities for a low carbon future in city homes


20 May 2019

Lilian Greenwood visits Plumbase Builders MerchantsMP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

Ms Greenwood discussed how modern advances in home heating products can deliver significant improvement to air quality and energy use across the region during a visit organised by the BMF.

Mark Bradley, Chairman of the BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum, hosted the visit at Plumbase in Lenton Lane.

Mark is the MD of Plumbase and showed the politician around the company’s trade counter and showrooms to illustrate the key points under discussion.

He said: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, and this visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Nottingham and the rest of the UK will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. Our role as a trade association is to help set out how this can be achieved and to demonstrate the opportunities available to deliver meaningful environmental and economic benefits overall.”

Joining Ms Greenwood on the visit were Steve Daley, the Branch Manager at Plumbase in Lenton Lane, and Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Ms Greenwood said: “I was pleased to visit Plumbase and see for myself their contribution to Nottingham’s prosperity and the wider East Midlands’ economy. I congratulate Branch Manager Steve Daley and his team in helping both trade professionals and retail customers. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help people to have warmer homes, cut carbon emissions, and save on energy bills, was really good to see. It is only by working together that politicians and businesses like Plumbase can move to a low-carbon future to improve the energy performance of Nottingham’s homes. I am encouraged to see local businesses are up for the challenge.”
MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

Notts MP sees the opportunities for a low carbon future in city homes


20 May 2019

Lilian Greenwood visits Plumbase Builders MerchantsMP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

Ms Greenwood discussed how modern advances in home heating products can deliver significant improvement to air quality and energy use across the region during a visit organised by the BMF.

Mark Bradley, Chairman of the BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum, hosted the visit at Plumbase in Lenton Lane.

Mark is the MD of Plumbase and showed the politician around the company’s trade counter and showrooms to illustrate the key points under discussion.

He said: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, and this visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Nottingham and the rest of the UK will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. Our role as a trade association is to help set out how this can be achieved and to demonstrate the opportunities available to deliver meaningful environmental and economic benefits overall.”

Joining Ms Greenwood on the visit were Steve Daley, the Branch Manager at Plumbase in Lenton Lane, and Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Ms Greenwood said: “I was pleased to visit Plumbase and see for myself their contribution to Nottingham’s prosperity and the wider East Midlands’ economy. I congratulate Branch Manager Steve Daley and his team in helping both trade professionals and retail customers. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help people to have warmer homes, cut carbon emissions, and save on energy bills, was really good to see. It is only by working together that politicians and businesses like Plumbase can move to a low-carbon future to improve the energy performance of Nottingham’s homes. I am encouraged to see local businesses are up for the challenge.”
MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF puts the building materials industry in the national spotlight

29 April 2019

Shepherd PRThe BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Trade association specialist Shepherd PR has been appointed by the Federation to promote and amplify BMF’s key strategic goals nationwide.

Activity will include a focus on the rewarding employment opportunities and career pathways within the industry – emphasised by the BMF’s relaunched website www.buildingmaterialcareers.com

The Federation’s new Builders Merchants Industry Forecast – which analyses market performance – will be promoted, as well as the regional Builders Merchant Building Index.

Commentary on materials supply to meet housing demand, and the implications of Brexit on the trading environment, will also be included in the campaign.

Some of the communications will integrate with the BMF’s successful trade PR activity for maximum impact.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The appointment comes at an exciting time for the Federation. We are pressing ahead with a bold strategy to attract and develop new people into the industry and PR will play a key role in that approach.”

“We also want to demonstrate the scope and scale of the sector using our new Industry Forecast and regional data, to clearly attribute the value the UK merchant sector brings to the economy.

“Another important element is, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, that the voice of our members is clearly heard, to ensure we help secure the best outcomes in the business climate.”

The BMF will also continue to work with Alison Parkes on trade press announcements.
The BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Housing Minister to address BMF Members Annual Conference

10 April 2019

Kit Malthouse MPKit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019. 

Mr Malthouse is responsible for housing & home ownership and planning & development in England. Specific policies such as Help to Buy, affordable & social housing, Building Regulations and the National Planning Policy Framework come under his portfolio. He is the minister tasked with increasing the housing supply to fulfil his Government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Mr Malthouse was elected as Conservative MP for North-West Hampshire in May 2015. Prior to this he was Deputy London Mayor for Policing, and then Deputy London Mayor for Business & Enterprise, under Boris Johnson. A chartered accountant by profession, he worked for Touche Ross and then Deloitte, before becoming finance director and later chairman of a construction plant hire business in the Midlands

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are extremely pleased that the Housing Minister will attend our annual Members’ Conference. Housing remains a key construction issue and builders merchants and their customers play a vital role in the supply chain both to deliver new homes and to upgrade existing housing stock.”

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, and 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
Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMFMembers’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF puts the building materials industry in the national spotlight

29 April 2019

Shepherd PRThe BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Trade association specialist Shepherd PR has been appointed by the Federation to promote and amplify BMF’s key strategic goals nationwide.

Activity will include a focus on the rewarding employment opportunities and career pathways within the industry – emphasised by the BMF’s relaunched website www.buildingmaterialcareers.com

The Federation’s new Builders Merchants Industry Forecast – which analyses market performance – will be promoted, as well as the regional Builders Merchant Building Index.

Commentary on materials supply to meet housing demand, and the implications of Brexit on the trading environment, will also be included in the campaign.

Some of the communications will integrate with the BMF’s successful trade PR activity for maximum impact.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The appointment comes at an exciting time for the Federation. We are pressing ahead with a bold strategy to attract and develop new people into the industry and PR will play a key role in that approach.”

“We also want to demonstrate the scope and scale of the sector using our new Industry Forecast and regional data, to clearly attribute the value the UK merchant sector brings to the economy.

“Another important element is, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, that the voice of our members is clearly heard, to ensure we help secure the best outcomes in the business climate.”

The BMF will also continue to work with Alison Parkes on trade press announcements.
The BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Housing Minister to address BMF Members Annual Conference

10 April 2019

Kit Malthouse MPKit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019. 

Mr Malthouse is responsible for housing & home ownership and planning & development in England. Specific policies such as Help to Buy, affordable & social housing, Building Regulations and the National Planning Policy Framework come under his portfolio. He is the minister tasked with increasing the housing supply to fulfil his Government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Mr Malthouse was elected as Conservative MP for North-West Hampshire in May 2015. Prior to this he was Deputy London Mayor for Policing, and then Deputy London Mayor for Business & Enterprise, under Boris Johnson. A chartered accountant by profession, he worked for Touche Ross and then Deloitte, before becoming finance director and later chairman of a construction plant hire business in the Midlands

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are extremely pleased that the Housing Minister will attend our annual Members’ Conference. Housing remains a key construction issue and builders merchants and their customers play a vital role in the supply chain both to deliver new homes and to upgrade existing housing stock.”

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, and 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
Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMFMembers’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019.

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

Notts MP sees the opportunities for a low carbon future in city homes


20 May 2019

Lilian Greenwood visits Plumbase Builders MerchantsMP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

Ms Greenwood discussed how modern advances in home heating products can deliver significant improvement to air quality and energy use across the region during a visit organised by the BMF.

Mark Bradley, Chairman of the BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum, hosted the visit at Plumbase in Lenton Lane.

Mark is the MD of Plumbase and showed the politician around the company’s trade counter and showrooms to illustrate the key points under discussion.

He said: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, and this visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Nottingham and the rest of the UK will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. Our role as a trade association is to help set out how this can be achieved and to demonstrate the opportunities available to deliver meaningful environmental and economic benefits overall.”

Joining Ms Greenwood on the visit were Steve Daley, the Branch Manager at Plumbase in Lenton Lane, and Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Ms Greenwood said: “I was pleased to visit Plumbase and see for myself their contribution to Nottingham’s prosperity and the wider East Midlands’ economy. I congratulate Branch Manager Steve Daley and his team in helping both trade professionals and retail customers. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help people to have warmer homes, cut carbon emissions, and save on energy bills, was really good to see. It is only by working together that politicians and businesses like Plumbase can move to a low-carbon future to improve the energy performance of Nottingham’s homes. I am encouraged to see local businesses are up for the challenge.”
MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF puts the building materials industry in the national spotlight

29 April 2019

Shepherd PRThe BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Trade association specialist Shepherd PR has been appointed by the Federation to promote and amplify BMF’s key strategic goals nationwide.

Activity will include a focus on the rewarding employment opportunities and career pathways within the industry – emphasised by the BMF’s relaunched website www.buildingmaterialcareers.com

The Federation’s new Builders Merchants Industry Forecast – which analyses market performance – will be promoted, as well as the regional Builders Merchant Building Index.

Commentary on materials supply to meet housing demand, and the implications of Brexit on the trading environment, will also be included in the campaign.

Some of the communications will integrate with the BMF’s successful trade PR activity for maximum impact.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “The appointment comes at an exciting time for the Federation. We are pressing ahead with a bold strategy to attract and develop new people into the industry and PR will play a key role in that approach.”

“We also want to demonstrate the scope and scale of the sector using our new Industry Forecast and regional data, to clearly attribute the value the UK merchant sector brings to the economy.

“Another important element is, with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, that the voice of our members is clearly heard, to ensure we help secure the best outcomes in the business climate.”

The BMF will also continue to work with Alison Parkes on trade press announcements.
The BMF is championing the value and significance of the building materials industry in a new regional and national approach.

Housing Minister to address BMF Members Annual Conference

10 April 2019

Kit Malthouse MPKit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMF Members’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019. 

Mr Malthouse is responsible for housing & home ownership and planning & development in England. Specific policies such as Help to Buy, affordable & social housing, Building Regulations and the National Planning Policy Framework come under his portfolio. He is the minister tasked with increasing the housing supply to fulfil his Government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Mr Malthouse was elected as Conservative MP for North-West Hampshire in May 2015. Prior to this he was Deputy London Mayor for Policing, and then Deputy London Mayor for Business & Enterprise, under Boris Johnson. A chartered accountant by profession, he worked for Touche Ross and then Deloitte, before becoming finance director and later chairman of a construction plant hire business in the Midlands

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “We are extremely pleased that the Housing Minister will attend our annual Members’ Conference. Housing remains a key construction issue and builders merchants and their customers play a vital role in the supply chain both to deliver new homes and to upgrade existing housing stock.”

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, and 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
Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, will speak at the BMFMembers’ Annual Conference on 19 September 2019.

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF relaunches industry recruitment website

8 April 2019

The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector by highlighting the wide range of careers available both in merchant and supplier businesses.

The relaunch follows policy research with members who told the BMF they wanted the Federation to help promote the widest possible range of job opportunities in the industry, fostering diversity and inclusion, helping members to recruit a workforce from a wide range of backgrounds and experience.

As part of the BMF’s bold new strategy, unveiled at its annual Members’ Day Conference in September, attracting and developing talented people in to the industry will continue to be a main strategic goal.

The website - www.buildingmaterialscareers.com - promotes apprenticeships, life-long learning and gives members the opportunity to manage their job advertisements free of charge using the ‘Advertise A Job’ facility. Potential apprentices and employees will then be able to easily locate these roles, using the region, sector and location search filters.

The website features merchant and supplier employees’ video profiles . Each profile explains how they came to work in the materials supply industry and what they like about their specific job. Job seekers will be inspired by the range of career opportunities available to them in the building materials industry, no matter what educational qualifications they achieved at school or university. The site also highlights the BMF’s Ambassador programme, and explains that schools and colleges can invite someone working in the industry to share their experience at careers events.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “We are delighted to launch our new Building Materials Careers website to help the industry attract and develop new people. This is a fantastic opportunity for BMF members to get involved, by not only promoting their job vacancies, but by also becoming industry Ambassadors to spread the word about the great careers available in building materials.”

For more information about the website visit www.buildingmaterialscareers.com or contact Hannah Taylor, BMF Marketing Assistant on 02476 854990 or email hannah.taylor@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMF relaunches industry recruitment website

8 April 2019

The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector by highlighting the wide range of careers available both in merchant and supplier businesses.

The relaunch follows policy research with members who told the BMF they wanted the Federation to help promote the widest possible range of job opportunities in the industry, fostering diversity and inclusion, helping members to recruit a workforce from a wide range of backgrounds and experience.

As part of the BMF’s bold new strategy, unveiled at its annual Members’ Day Conference in September, attracting and developing talented people in to the industry will continue to be a main strategic goal.

The website - www.buildingmaterialscareers.com - promotes apprenticeships, life-long learning and gives members the opportunity to manage their job advertisements free of charge using the ‘Advertise A Job’ facility. Potential apprentices and employees will then be able to easily locate these roles, using the region, sector and location search filters.

The website features merchant and supplier employees’ video profiles . Each profile explains how they came to work in the materials supply industry and what they like about their specific job. Job seekers will be inspired by the range of career opportunities available to them in the building materials industry, no matter what educational qualifications they achieved at school or university. The site also highlights the BMF’s Ambassador programme, and explains that schools and colleges can invite someone working in the industry to share their experience at careers events.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “We are delighted to launch our new Building Materials Careers website to help the industry attract and develop new people. This is a fantastic opportunity for BMF members to get involved, by not only promoting their job vacancies, but by also becoming industry Ambassadors to spread the word about the great careers available in building materials.”

For more information about the website visit www.buildingmaterialscareers.com or contact Hannah Taylor, BMF Marketing Assistant on 02476 854990 or email hannah.taylor@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has launched Building Materials Careers, a new, improved website to encourage more people to join the building materials sector.

Final line-up for BMF All-Industry Conference Forum  

11 February 2019

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.

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

Notts MP sees the opportunities for a low carbon future in city homes


20 May 2019

Lilian Greenwood visits Plumbase Builders MerchantsMP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

Ms Greenwood discussed how modern advances in home heating products can deliver significant improvement to air quality and energy use across the region during a visit organised by the BMF.

Mark Bradley, Chairman of the BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum, hosted the visit at Plumbase in Lenton Lane.

Mark is the MD of Plumbase and showed the politician around the company’s trade counter and showrooms to illustrate the key points under discussion.

He said: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, and this visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Nottingham and the rest of the UK will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. Our role as a trade association is to help set out how this can be achieved and to demonstrate the opportunities available to deliver meaningful environmental and economic benefits overall.”

Joining Ms Greenwood on the visit were Steve Daley, the Branch Manager at Plumbase in Lenton Lane, and Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Ms Greenwood said: “I was pleased to visit Plumbase and see for myself their contribution to Nottingham’s prosperity and the wider East Midlands’ economy. I congratulate Branch Manager Steve Daley and his team in helping both trade professionals and retail customers. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help people to have warmer homes, cut carbon emissions, and save on energy bills, was really good to see. It is only by working together that politicians and businesses like Plumbase can move to a low-carbon future to improve the energy performance of Nottingham’s homes. I am encouraged to see local businesses are up for the challenge.”
MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.

BMBI reports sales growth at UK builders' merchants

BMBI
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.  Total Q1 sales were up +5.9% compared with the same period in 2018.

Landscaping products saw the strongest annual value growth (+15.6%). The two largest product categories also performed well with Heavy Building Materials up +6.8% and Timber & Joinery Products rising by +6.6%. Sales in all three product groups were adversely weather-affected in 2018, so a stronger performance during a relatively mild, dry winter was to be expected.

There was a mixed picture for interior product groups, with Decorating rising by +4.3%, Ironmongery up +2.3% and Kitchens & Bathrooms up +1.1%, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical showed a marginal decrease at -0.2%.

Comparing average sales a day in Q1 2019 and Q4 2018 also shows winners and losers. Sales of Landscaping Products grew by 1.9%, while the small Renewables & Water Saving Products category showed the highest increase at +6.6%.  However, with sales values in both the largest categories – Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products – dropping by -3%, total Quarter on Quarter Sales were down by -3%.  Kitchens & Bathrooms outperformed the average with a decrease of -0.3%, while Decorating (-3.9%) and Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-4.0 %) both underperformed.

However, the comparison of month on month average sales a day (March v February 2019) was largely positive. Total Month on Month sales were up by +6.5%, led by Landscaping at +27.7%, Renewables & Water Saving (+13.9%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.8%). Decorating (+5.6%), Timber & Joinery (+4.6%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+1.5%) also saw sales value growth, but Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was down -0.6%.

The BMBI uses GfK’s point of sale tracking data drawn from over 80% of builders merchants’ sales throughout the country, making it the most reliable source of data for the sector.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “Overall there are more positives than negatives within the BMBI Q1 2019 results. At the moment consumer confidence is holding and homeowners continue to invest in RMI projects, but we are still living in uncertain times. No one can say for sure what impact the prolonged uncertainty over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have over the course of the next 12 months.”

Richard Frankcom, Key Account Director at GfK said: “This time last year we were waiting to see if we’d see merchant sales recover from a weather damaged start to the year, which they did.  This year it’s more about how the political situation will affect consumer and business confidence.  With value growth still outstripping volume, inflation will be putting the squeeze on already cautious consumers who are a substantial proportion of the RMI market for merchants SME trade customers.  Furthermore, any slowdown in house prices may slow the larger house builders land turn, which will further hit trade.  Time will tell, but some political clarity would really help.”

For more information about the BMBI click here.
Figures just released in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show positive sales growth through UK builders merchants during the first quarter of the year.

Notts MP sees the opportunities for a low carbon future in city homes


20 May 2019

Lilian Greenwood visits Plumbase Builders MerchantsMP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

Ms Greenwood discussed how modern advances in home heating products can deliver significant improvement to air quality and energy use across the region during a visit organised by the BMF.

Mark Bradley, Chairman of the BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum, hosted the visit at Plumbase in Lenton Lane.

Mark is the MD of Plumbase and showed the politician around the company’s trade counter and showrooms to illustrate the key points under discussion.

He said: “BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, and this visit provided a great opportunity to discuss the workings of the industry’s supply chain and how it can help support future low carbon objectives. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Nottingham and the rest of the UK will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

“The issue is set to gain further momentum following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in March that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Efficient boilers, coupled with better insulation and the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individual householders, will be the key drivers in converting homes for a low carbon world. Our role as a trade association is to help set out how this can be achieved and to demonstrate the opportunities available to deliver meaningful environmental and economic benefits overall.”

Joining Ms Greenwood on the visit were Steve Daley, the Branch Manager at Plumbase in Lenton Lane, and Brett Amphlett, BMF’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager.

Ms Greenwood said: “I was pleased to visit Plumbase and see for myself their contribution to Nottingham’s prosperity and the wider East Midlands’ economy. I congratulate Branch Manager Steve Daley and his team in helping both trade professionals and retail customers. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help people to have warmer homes, cut carbon emissions, and save on energy bills, was really good to see. It is only by working together that politicians and businesses like Plumbase can move to a low-carbon future to improve the energy performance of Nottingham’s homes. I am encouraged to see local businesses are up for the challenge.”
MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood saw first-hand how the building materials industry can play a key role in delivering a low carbon future for the city.

BMF shortlisted in Trade Association Awards for 5th year


TAF 2019 Awards Finalist Membership Engagement17 May 2019

The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

TAF is “the trade association for trade associations” representing over 300 of the top trade bodies in the UK and there is always fierce competition amongst members to win a Best Practice Award. 

The BMF is shortlisted for the Membership Engagement Award in recognition of its localisation strategy, whereby the Federation worked with members to identify appropriate facilities as regional hubs for local groups to come together for meetings, forums and training.  This led to the development of 27 BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the country, with more due to come on stream this year.

The Regional Centres have proved hugely successful, with a total of 92 events taking place between January 2018 and April 2019, attracting 1,240 delegates.

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “We are always delighted to be short-listed for a prestigious TAF Award. The BMF team is always looking for new and better ways to support our members but it is still a remarkable achievement to have been shortlisted fourteen times in five years. This year it is particularly gratifying that we have been shortlisted for a programme that has boosted our engagement with members who have limited time to travel and who are now able to attend BMF events close to their home base.”

Commenting on the shortlist, Linda Cavender, TAF CEO, said: “The Awards offer TAF members an excellent opportunity to showcase their organisation, its expertise and recent achievements. I am always astounded at the quality of the entries and only the very best reach the shortlist. They provide a benchmark for running a successful organisation which focuses on members’ needs.”

The winners will be announced at the 2019 Best Practice Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 9 July at County Hall, London.
The BMF has been shortlisted in the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice Awards for the fifth year in succession.

James Hipkins to chair BMF West Midlands Region


James HipkinsJames Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region.  James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer, Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.   

James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time.  He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent.  Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.

Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.

Commenting on his appointment, James Hipkins said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of Chair of the BMF West Midlands Region.  I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”
James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new Chairman of the BMF West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer Jewson & Managing Director Local Merchant Group.
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