BMF News

BMF wins Best Trade Association Award  


The BMF scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards 2018, winning the top honour of Overall Best Association as well as the prize for Best Association Website.   

The Association Excellence Awards, which are judged by a panel of over 20 CEOs and senior managers, recognise and reward the achievements of UK trade bodies, professional membership organisations and associations. Awarding the BMF the prize for Overall Best Association – under 1000 members, the judges said that the Federation demonstrated strength in policy, membership events, communications, training and had genuine sector leadership.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “We are honoured and delighted to see the BMF’s work on behalf of our members independently recognised in this way. To win two Association of Excellence Awards in one year is an incredible achievement, and for one of those to be the best trade association of our size is a fantastic tribute to the professionalism of the whole BMF team.”  

Mr Newcomb added, “Our mission is to help merchant and supplier members to build excellence into every aspect of their business.  We will continue to develop the policies and programmes that helped us achieve recognition in the Association Excellence Awards to support our members with services that help them to succeed in their markets.”
The BMF scored a double success in the prestigious Association Excellence Awards 2018, winning the top honour of Overall Best Association as well as the prize for Best Association Website.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMF unveils strategy for Building Excellence  


BMF - Building ExcellenceThe BMF unveiled its strategy for the next three years at its Members Day Conference, promising to help members to build excellence within every aspect of their business.  

The BMF revealed a new strapline, Building Excellence, alongside its mission and vision through to 2020, by which time it aims to be regarded as the leading trade association in the building materials industry for merchants and suppliers. 

The BMF also set itself a target adding almost 150 members, increasing total membership from the current figure of 655 to 800. Success will see BMF members excel at providing materials and services and the BMF itself representing 90% of the merchant sector and successfully promoting the sector’s vital contribution to UK economic growth.  

The strategy was finalised following extensive research with members to find out what matters most to them. The result will see the BMF extend its widely respected training and business services and recharge its youth recruitment campaign to help the Federation’s diverse membership gain, and retain, business advantage at a time when the challenges facing the industry have never been greater. The BMF will also increase its political campaigning, focusing on priority issues identified by its membership.  

Speaking at the event, BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “Our mission for the next three years is to help members to excel at providing materials and services for building a better future. This is evolution rather than revolution but our new strategy encompasses a bold vision. It represents a move away from just being the glue that sticks a diverse and sometimes fragmented industry together, to a role of greater leadership as the backbone of the industry standing up for members’ interests in the political arena.  

“Just as importantly, we will be building on our successful training and business service offers to deliver even better value to our different member groups, by providing individual companies with a personalised service package tailored to their specific needs.”  

The BMF also announced a closer relationship with the Institute of Builders Merchants (IOBM), that will complement the trade body’s work by helping BMF members’ employees to build sustainable careers.  
The BMF unveiled its strategy for the next three years at its Members Day Conference, promising to help members to build excellence within every aspect of their business.

John Prescott announced as first speaker at BMF All Industry Conference  


Lord John PrescottLord John Prescott, the UK’s longest serving Deputy Prime Minister, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at the BMF All Industry Conference 2019, which takes place in Dubrovnik next June.  

John Prescott represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament for 40 years before retiring as an MP at the 2010 election and entering the House of Lords as a life peer.  During his hugely influential parliamentary career he served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party between 1994 and 2007 and as Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 he played a key role in Tony Blair’s administration. He helped broker the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and developed the government’s post-Kyoto agenda, implemented reforms to Britain’s transport system, formed regional development councils and oversaw the creation of the post of a directly elected Mayor of London.  

Despite his reputation as a pugnacious politician, whose approval ratings soared when he punched a protestor who had thrown and egg at him, he frequently acted as mediator between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the strife in their relationship became more pronounced.  

John Prescott is never afraid of expressing controversial opinions, which should make for a memorable Conference address.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “Next year’s BMF All Industry Conference is the first to be held in our post-Brexit era. It’s fitting that John Prescott – a man not known for pulling any punches - will share his views as this year’s political ‘big beast’ speaker. Regular attendees will know that he follows in the footsteps of other political heavyweights including Michael Portillo in 2013, Alistair Campbell (2015) and Paddy Ashdown (2017). I have no doubt that this session will once again be one of the highlights of our Conference.”  

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
Lord John Prescott, the UK’s longest serving Deputy Prime Minister, has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at the BMF All Industry Conference 2019, which takes place in Dubrovnik next June.

Last minute substitution adds midfield flair to BMF Members’ Day  


Football fans the world over understand the positive impact a last-minute substitution can bring to the game, so delegates to the BMF Members’ Day Business Conference should not be disappointed to learn of a late change to the speaker programme.  

The BMF has secured England international Jill Scott to replace fellow Lioness Laura Bassett, who has had to withdraw for family reasons.

Jill Scott, an energetic, ball winning midfielder, is one of England’s most outstanding players, scoring 21 goals in 130 appearances. Her experience on the field helped England to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals. She has played in two previous world cup tournaments as well as the 2012 Olympics.  

Her career began at Sunderland, her home town club, before joining Everton in 2006 where she contributed to the Blue’s FA Women’s Premier League Cup success in 2008 and FA Women’s Cup in 2010. Following a move to Manchester City she helped secure the Continental Cup Trophy in 2014. During her stellar career Jill has been voted 2008 FA Player’s Player of the Year and 2011 FA International Player of the Year.  

The theme of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference & Awards 2018 is “The Future belongs to the Bold”. The Business Conference and the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner, which celebrates the achievements of young people working in the industry, both take place on 27 September at the FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park. The BMF’s annual Golf Tournament and other social activities will be held on the previous day, 26 September.  

The BMF thanks Encon Insulation, the headline sponsor of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference and Awards 2018, and Marsh Industries and Monument Tools, who sponsor the Awards Dinner and Golf Tournament.
Football fans the world over understand the positive impact a last-minute substitution can bring to the game, so delegates to the BMF Members’ Day Business Conference should not be disappointed to learn of a late change to the speaker programme.

South Coast BS latest h&b merchant to join BMF  


South Coast Building Supplies, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, is the latest member of the h&b buying group to join the BMF. There are now over 50 h&b merchants within the BMF’s membership.  

Formed in August 2008, South Coast Building Supplies is now one of the leading independent merchants operating across Dorset and Hampshire. With 75 members of staff, the company currently trades from four depots in Southampton, Bournemouth and Andover.  

Tim Payne, MD of South Coast Building Supplies, who has been with the company since its formation, said, “We have grown our business by building a team of knowledgeable and approachable staff who provide great service. The professionalism of BMF training from apprenticeships through to management courses will undoubtedly benefit our business as we enter our second decade of trading and the next stage of our development.”  

Welcoming South Coast Building Supplies into membership, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “I’m delighted that this thriving independent merchant recognises that the wide variety of training and support services the BMF offers will add value to their business as it continues to develop and grow. I look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
South Coast Building Supplies, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary, is the latest member of the h&b buying group to join the BMF. There are now over 50 h&b merchants within the BMF’s membership.

Lib Dem Lord confirmed for BMF Members Day  


Lord Andrew Stunell, the Liberal Democrat’s spokesperson on the Construction Industry, will speak at the BMF’s annual Members’ Day Business Conference on 27 September.  

Andrew has been a member of the House of Lords since 2015, following his retirement as an MP.  He is currently working with the construction industry on the development of a coherent industry-wide response to the challenges of Brexit.   

Andrew had a 20-year career in construction before he was elected to the House of Commons in 1997 where he served variously as Chief Whip and shadow Secretary of State for Environment, and DCLG. As a backbench MP he steered the Sustainable and Secure Building Act into law, laying the foundations for later moves towards zero carbon homes. He served as a DCLG Minister in the Coalition government from 2010 to 2012 and introduced the uprating of energy performance standards in building in 2011.  

The theme of BMF Members’ Day Annual Conference 2018 is “The Future belongs to the Bold”. Lord Stunell is one of eight keynote speakers at the event.  

The Business Conference is followed by the BMF’s black-tie Awards Dinner, which celebrates the achievements of young people working in the industry.  

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

There are limited delegate places remaining for the event. To book your place visit the BMF website at www.bmf.org.uk/events or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk
Lord Andrew Stunell, the Liberal Democrat’s spokesperson on the Construction Industry, will speak at the BMF’s annual Members’ Day Business Conference on 27 September.

BMF lobbying success over post-brexit VAT payments 


The BMF has welcomed a Government decision that ministers will allow BMF members to adopt postponed accounting for import Value-Added Tax on goods brought into the country after the United Kingdom leaves the EU in exactly seven months’ time.  

The Department for Exiting the European Union announced this concession as part of the first wave of technical notices it has published to inform businesses about what plans and preparations they ought to do in case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit departure.  

Ministers have decided that, if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, they will introduce postponed accounting for import VAT on goods brought into the UK. In other words, VAT-registered BMF members that import materials and products will be able to account for import VAT on their VAT return - instead of paying import VAT on (or soon after) goods arrive at ports. This concession applies to imports from the EU and non-EU countries.  

Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy & Public Affairs’ Manager, commented, “We are very pleased the Government has decided to allow importers to use postponed accounting for import Value-Added Tax due on materials and products that BMF members distribute. This is an undoubted win for BMF lobbying at a time of political and business uncertainty amid worries that not enough is being done to prepare for a ‘no deal’ departure.”   

“While others in construction are worried about the number of workers available after Brexit, our concern from the very beginning was focused on VAT and the likelihood of having to pay 20% extra upfront, and the impact on prices and supplies. We look forward to the necessary legislation being passed in the coming months to give effect to this very welcome decision.”   

Without this decision, the BMF calculated that potential additional costs would be about £1 billion for European softwood; £160 million for imported bricks; and £80 million for paint from the EU.  

Mr Amphlett said ministers have taken a common sense approach and a tax bombshell has been avoided - especially for SMEs - by taking a decision in good time. However, customs declarations, rules of origin declarations, and paying duties at borders will still be required, he added. The BMF hope that detail on these procedure and payments will be in the next wave of DExEU technical notices. Importers will also have to register for an UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, and check that contracts and terms & conditions are all up-to-date.
The BMF has welcomed a Government decision that ministers will allow BMF members to adopt postponed accounting for import Value-Added Tax on goods brought into the country after the United Kingdom leaves the EU in exactly seven months’ time.

Mind Coach joins speaker line-up for BMF Members’ Day  


John Dabrowski the Mind Coach and an expert on mental resilience is the latest keynote speaker confirmed for the BMF’s annual Members Day Conference in September.  

John was a professional basketball player before entering the world of advertising and becoming a multi-award winning agency director.  He has spent over 30 years in the business world, putting him in a unique position to deal with contemporary business challenges. At Members’ Day he will share techniques on how to develop mental toughness that are equally applicable to sports and business.  

John will also run an afternoon workshop on Mental Resilience and Confidence Building, one of three hour-long workshops on offer to delegates.  

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

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

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

There are limited delegate places remaining for the event. To book your place visit the BMF website at www.bmf.org.uk/events or contact: june.upton@bmf.org.uk
John Dabrowski the Mind Coach and an expert on mental resilience is the latest keynote speaker confirmed for the BMF’s annual Members Day Conference in September.

BMBI adds new Expert Lakes Bathrooms  


Mike Tattam, Sales and Marketing Director of Lakes Bathrooms is the latest Expert to join the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) panel. Mike brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, working with merchants, stockists and specifiers. He will be speaking for the shower enclosures and showering market from the Q2 report, published in August 2018.  

Mike comments: “I’ve been following the BMBI since it was set up in 2015 and see it as the go-to platform for reliable industry data and trends. It’s also a recognised platform for positioning your brand as the authoritative voice of the market, adding insight and meaning to the data from the perspective of your industry. Lakes is a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium showering spaces with over 30 years’ experience of working with builders’ merchants and stockists. We’re about to launch several new initiatives and more innovative products so it’s very relevant and timely for us to join the Expert panel.”  

The BMBI is a brand of the BMF. It now includes 14 industry experts who speak exclusively for their markets. Other BMBI Experts include:  

- Paul Rivett, Managing Director Heatrae Sadia
- Tony France, Sales Director Ibstock
- Nigel Cox, Managing Director Timbmet
- John Sinfield, Managing Director Knauf Insulation
- Mike Beard, Merchant Development Director Encon Insulation
- John Duffin, Managing Director Keylite Roof Windows
- Andy Simpson, National Commercial Director Hanson Cement
- Derrick McFarland, Managing Director Keystone Lintels
- Steve Halford, Group Managing Director The Crystal Group
- Paul Owen, Divisional Director of Distribution IKO PLC
- Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Alumasc Water Management Solutions
- Malcom Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director Talasey Group
- Paul Roughan, Trade Merchants Sales Director Dulux Trade  

The BMBI is a reliable, up-to-date measure of Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) activity in the UK using GfK’s Builders Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data which analyses sales out data from over 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales across Great Britain. Produced and managed by MRA Marketing, monthly reports track what is happening in the market month by month, with an in-depth review every quarter.  

The panel of leading industry Experts is an integral part of the Index. The Experts add perspective and context to the data. They help to make sense of trends for users of the BMBI. The Experts explain issues, highlight opportunities, and where appropriate, for example, make the case for or against legislation, industry schemes or government policy.  

Visit www.bmbi.co.uk to download the latest BMBI report, learn more about each Expert or watch the Round Table debate videos where the Experts discuss important issues and the implications for merchants and construction overall. Follow @TheBMBI.    

If you’d like your brand to become a BMBI Expert and the voice of your market, call Tom Rigby, MRA Marketing on 01453 521621.
Mike Tattam, Sales and Marketing Director of Lakes Bathrooms is the latest Expert to join the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) panel. Mike brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, working with merchants, sto

Builders merchants’ sales enjoy Q2 bounce


GfK and BMBISales through UK builders’ merchants bounced back in Q2 2018, with the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reporting 7.2% growth in sales value over Q2 2017.  There was one more trading day during Q2 this year, adjusting for this the average daily sales growth year on year was 5.5%. The strong performance in Q2 contrasts markedly to a weather-hindered performance in the first quarter of the year.

The Timber and Joinery category had a major impact on total sales value growth in Q2, up 9.5% year on year.  Within this the Sheet Materials sub category was a big contributor.

Heavy Building Materials, the largest product category, also showed strong growth in Q2 2018, up 6.3% on the same period last year.

Plumbing, Heating and Electrical reported exceptional year on year growth in Q2, up 13.3% on 2017, possibly driven by people looking to upgrade old or failing equipment after the winter freeze.

Looking at the year to date, which takes into account two very different quarters of construction activity, total builders merchants sales in the first six months of 2018 increased by 4.0% over the same six months in 2017.

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.  The full Q2 report can be downloaded at www.bmbi.co.uk

 Commenting on the figures, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said “For the second quarter running the impact of the weather on construction output – and builders merchants sales – is clear to see. The warm, dry weather through much of Q2 has enabled construction work to catch up on sites that had stalled earlier in the year.  The merchant industry will be buoyed by Q2 sales and, with above average temperatures forecast into the autumn, we remain confident of continued growth this year.”

Richard Frankcom, Client Insight Director at GfK said “Following the dramatic weather in Q1 delaying the usual end of quarter external work kick off, we had been expecting a strong Q2 performance, and these results did not disappoint.  Midway through April the weather improved and May and June delivered strong growth in almost every category. That said, price inflation and one extra trading day in Q2 2018 over the same period in 2017 also had an effect on growth, but we should be content that the builders merchant sector remains in good health.”

Download the full report or for more information about the BMBI click here.
Builders merchants’ sales enjoy Q2 bounce. Sales through UK builders’ merchants bounced back in Q2 2018, with the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reporting 7.2% growth in sales value over Q2 2017. The strong performance in Q2 contras

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


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

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

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

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

Six shortlisted for BMF Supplier Engagement Award  


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

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

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

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

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

Jon Culshaw to attend Awards Dinner at BMF Members’ Day  


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

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

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

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

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

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

Finalists announced in BMF Training Awards


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

The nominations are:   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BMF Welcomes London Mayor's new boiler initiative


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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