BMF News

BMF responds to Chancellor’s Spending Review


25 November 2020

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said:

“The Chancellor was clear that the health emergency is not yet over and the economic emergency has only just begun.  We must be prepared for a challenging year ahead, but there was some welcome news within his statement.  

“In particular, we welcome the £20bn committed to underpin the Government’s long term housing strategy, confirmation of capital investment to deliver the Government’s commitments on building 40 hospitals and rebuilding 500 schools over the next decade,
and the multi-year funding required to deliver the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.  The latter includes a welcome 12 month extension for the Green Homes Grant, announced last week.

“However, we would have liked to hear the Chancellor go further and announce funding for a National Retrofit Strategy to turbo-charge the levelling-up of housing conditions throughout the country.   Pump-priming this work would undoubtedly improve lives, create jobs, boost the economy as well as making greater inroads towards the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
 
BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “The Chancellor was clear that the health emergency is not yet over and the economic emergency has only just begun...

Builders Merchants sales bounce back in Q3


23 November 2020

Figures for the third quarter of 2020 published today (23 November) in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reflect the resilience of the sector, with sales bouncing back to near normal levels.

Comparing Q3 and Q2 2020 sales values highlights the dramatic impact of the first lockdown earlier in the year, with total Builders’ Merchants’ sales up by +63.2% in Q3 (+53.2% when adjusted for trading days in each quarter).

September 2020 sales delivered a particularly strong performance, increasing by +8.3% compared to September 2019, albeit with one extra trading day 

Looking at year on year changes, total Builders’ Merchants’ sales in Q3 2020 saw growth of +1.0% compared to Q3 2019. Of the two largest categories, Timber & Joinery grew by 3.5% in value from Q3 2019, while Heavy Building Materials saw a decrease of -1.0%. 

Landscaping was the big winner with year on year sales growth of +24.2% in value, with performance driven by Decking, Garden Walling / Paving and Fencing & Gates, which all saw substantial growth from last year. 

Timber was the key driver in Timber & Joinery growth, with Cladding also contributing. Heavy Building Materials’ small decline was due to a mix of both single digit increases and decreases across the board, with Aggregates, Bricks, Cement and Roofing Products the best performing subcategories.

However, year on year sales declined in some categories, with both Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-11.9%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (-7.1%) down on Q3 2019.

Only Landscaping and Workwear & Safetywear have seen growth year to date, increasing by +1.5% and +1.2% respectively. Workwear & Safetywear Q3 growth was also up by 8.0% in value as COVID-19 safety requirements remain at the forefront. 

Commenting on the Q3 sales data, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said:
“The level of activity over the summer and early autumn has been extremely encouraging, but we must also recognise that this has been against a backdrop of furlough payments, stamp duty holidays and continuing work on existing sites. It remains to be seen how consumer confidence holds up going forward.  The construction industry should benefit from government initiatives such as the Green Homes Grant, which has just been extended through to March 2022.   But with lockdown measures continuing throughout the nations of the UK we are likely to see more volatility in the coming months.”
Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:

“There is an expectation that the remainder of the year will be more challenging due to the second lockdown, but the merchant sector will benefit from being allowed to remain open for trading. Digital development will continue at a rapid pace, while looking further ahead, Brexit will bring its own challenges in 2021. The recent performance does however underline some positivity after this turbulent and uncertain year.”
 
Figures for the third quarter of 2020 published today (23 November) in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) reflect the resilience of the sector, with sales bouncing back to near normal levels.

BMF supports £19.5m Optimised Retrofit programme in Wales

20 November 2020

Members of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) in Wales are supporting the devolved nation’s drive to deliver a low-carbon future under a landmark scheme.

The Welsh Government’s £19.5 million Optimised Retrofit Programme will help local authority and housing association tenants and the environment by reducing the amount of carbon produced in powering and heating homes. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties across Wales will be key to achieving sustainability goals.

Designed to contribute to the Welsh Government’s efforts to decarbonise all 1.4 million Welsh homes by 2050, a major element of the scheme is to revitalise the regional economy by using local contractors and local merchants. 

In a written statement from Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government, the BMF is mentioned, along with other trade bodies and industry groups, in relation to the opportunities presented for the SME sector in supporting the decarbonisation of homes.

Commenting on the programme, Julie James said: “Retrofitting homes is vital in providing greener, better homes, reducing fuel poverty and establishing new supply chains.

“As well as opening the door to a new industry, it will create a low carbon economy for Wales, helping us to meet our ambitious sustainability targets and tackle the climate emergency.”

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, added: “The Optimised Retrofit Programme delivers meaningful environmental and economic benefits across Wales.

“Builders merchants are at the heart of local communities of trades people and are well-placed to support the delivery of this programme in their area.”

More on the Optimised Retrofit Programme at https://gov.wales/written-statement-optimised-retrofit-programme-2020-21
 
Members of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) in Wales are supporting the devolved nation’s drive to deliver a low-carbon future under a landmark scheme.

BMF calls for bigger thinking to transform homes under Green Industrial Revolution


18 November 2020

A national trade body has welcomed the Prime Minister’s blueprint for greener homes and buildings - but says more needs to be done to ensure the scheme leaves a lasting legacy for the UK’s housing stock.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), says the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which includes £1 billion next year to drive efficiencies in new and existing homes and public buildings, as well as a year-long extension to the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, is a step in the right direction.

However, it says that the approach needs to align with a broader, long-term strategy, to make a meaningful impact.

John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF, which represents a £38 billion slice of the construction industry supply chain, said: “We pressed to extend the Green Homes Grant, after our members reported that homeowners were likely to miss out on the programme.

“This was because many builders, with full order books for the months ahead, were unable to take on work under the initiative in time for the original deadline March 31, 2021.

“It’s excellent news that the voucher scheme has been extended, but realistically, we need to think much bigger to deliver a programme of works that will have the scope and scale to improve homes and level up housing conditions across Britain.

“As a member of the Construction Leadership Council, we believe the route to achieve this is through a National Retrofit Strategy, to ensure the money spent makes a lasting difference to the quality of our homes.

“That would involve upgrading approximately 28 million properties across the UK with energy efficient retrofit measures, delivering significant improvements to people’s health, comfort, air quality and a reduction in emissions as well as creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Members of the BMF, as a sector representing merchants and building materials manufacturers, are key to delivering the changes needed to meet the challenges ahead.

“However, we need to work as part of a broad, long-term strategy in order to invest in the new initiatives and innovations needed to transform the way we live.

“That cannot be achieved if we just work to a one-off initiative. We have to think bigger.

“We are presented with an enormous opportunity for people and companies to move towards a low- or zero-carbon future in their homes and workplaces.

“If we can link this to a National Retrofit Strategy then we can improve lives, create jobs, boost the economy and make greater inroads towards the Government’s target of zero net emissions by 2050.”
A national trade body has welcomed the Prime Minister’s blueprint for greener homes and buildings - but says more needs to be done to ensure the scheme leaves a lasting legacy for the UK’s housing stock.

BMF All Industry Conference 2021 sold out!

16 November 2020

Next year’s All Industry Conference, the first to take place in the UK for almost 30 years, has sold out just eight weeks after its launch.
There has been a huge amount of interest in the 2021 Conference, which will be the first opportunity for the whole industry to come together in person following the outbreak of Covid-19.  The BMF has already increased its original allocation of hotel rooms to accommodate 400 delegates.  It is now trying to source even more rooms and has opened a waiting list for merchants and suppliers who missed out.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb has been both surprised and delighted by the speed at which the Conference has sold out, given the current health pandemic.

John Newcomb said: “The restrictions and uncertainty caused by Covid-19 has made it more important than ever for the building materials industry to meet in person, and I think people appreciated the Conference being held in the UK at this time. Nonetheless, the speed of delegate bookings for the biggest event in the industry’s calendar is a fantastic indication of our sector’s continuing confidence, and desire to play its part in the country’s economic recovery.” 

John added: “We know more people are keen to attend and we are doing everything we can to increase capacity to accommodate those on our waiting list.”

Merchants wishing to join the waiting list should email bmf@firstevent.co.uk 
Supplier and service companies should email June.Upton@bmf.org.uk

The dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference 2021 – with the theme Building Beyond Boundaries - takes place in Harrogate and York from 17-20 June.  For more information, visit www.bmfconference.co.uk

Second stage registration will be launched on 11th January 2021 when attendees will be asked to confirm delegate names, hotel choices and optional social activities.

The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.  Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
 
Next year’s All Industry Conference, the first to take place in the UK for almost 30 years, has sold out just eight weeks after its launch.

BMF’s Task Force role confirmed as CLC moves to next stage

10 November 2020

Following a review of its structure and operating model, the Builders Merchants Federation has been confirmed as a full member of the Construction Leadership Council.  The BMF will be key in supporting the important work of the
CLC over the next 12 months as the country transitions out of the EU and manages the ongoing economic impacts of Covid-19.

BMF CEO John Newcomb will sit on the CLC Task Force, one of three CLC groups created in order to both represent the industry effectively and take forward an ambitious programme of work, with the aim of building the better, stronger and more sustainable industry that Britain will need in future.

The redefined role of the CLC Task Force Group is to lead and co-ordinate the industry activities identified in the 1 June 2020 Roadmap to Recovery, the Industry Recovery Plan for the Construction Sector and the deliverables established by the respective Working Groups and Workstreams. The Task Force Group is responsible for day to day matters of the CLC and supports all activities and issues relating to short and medium-term needs as the convening and representation group for the CLC and the wider industry.

Commenting on the appointment, John Newcomb said: “The CLC Task Force has proved its effectiveness in supporting the industry during the Covid crisis.  The BMF’s contribution has now earned the building materials sector a permanent seat at the ‘top table’ of the construction industry. We look forward to continuing to represent our sector during the implementation of the Roadmap to Recovery.”

Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair of the CLC said: “The structure of the CLC has changed significantly since March.  The need for an effective and co-ordinated industry response to the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that it has become both larger and more focused on delivery.  The CLC Task Force that was created in March 2020 has achieved an enormous amount on behalf of the industry, and enabled us to work more closely with Government.  We now believe it is important to develop this further, and thank the BMF for agreeing to become a member of the CLC and help us in this work.”
 
Following a review of its structure and operating model, the Builders Merchants Federation has been confirmed as a full member of the Construction Leadership Council. The BMF will be key in supporting the important work of the CLC over the next 12 m

Geoff Ramm set to inspire Celebrity Service at BMF All Industry Conference 


05 November 2020

Geoff Ramm, the customer experience guru who motivates clients and conference audiences to stand out from the crowd, has been confirmed to speak at the BMF All Industry Conference 2021, next June.

As the creator and author of Celebrity Service Geoff has challenged and inspired audiences across 43 countries to create award-winning ideas to outperform the competition. His clients include Emirates, Warner Brothers and McDonalds.

This is not the first time Geoff has encouraged the merchant industry to think differently. Five years ago, he memorably introduced the concept of OMG marketing at the BMF All Industry Conference in Malta.  Now he is returning to inspire BMF delegates to create a customer experience like no other, with a unique concept described by the influential Forbes business magazine as “A Game Changer.” 

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “Geoff is not just an entertaining speaker, he has his finger on the pulse of real-life customer service that will set any business head and shoulders above the competition. Be prepared for an eye-opening experience.”

Geoff will also host the Conference’s Marketing Workshop - one of four taking place at the event – which will be sponsored by MRA and chaired by Mark Mallinder, Chairman of the BMF Marketing Forum and Marketing Director of EH Smith.

The dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference 2021  takes place in Harrogate and York from 17-20 June.  

The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.  Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
 
Geoff Ramm, the customer experience guru who motivates clients and conference audiences to stand out from the crowd, has been confirmed to speak at the BMF All Industry Conference 2021, next June.

Safety first in builders’ merchants across England    


4 November 2020

Construction leaders are taking steps to ensure safety first in builders’ merchants,  as the new Covid-19 restrictions come into place.

Builders’ merchants in England can remain open under the new Covid-19 restrictions, with the sector gaining Parliamentary recognition, along with other key sectors, to continue to operate.

The BMF produced detailed Covid-19 protocols at the start of the pandemic, and the advice will remain in place as new restrictions are brought in.

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, welcomed Government legislation allowing builders’ merchants to remain open and continue working as a crucial part of the construction supply chain.

He said: “Our members have provided emergency support for the NHS, local authority and housing association maintenance teams since lockdown began in mid-March.

“Since then we have continued to operate safety, providing much-needed materials to enable a variety of works to continue over summer.

“Now, as new restrictions begin, we continue to work to the same operating procedures.

“Our merchants will be able to ensure customers can access supplies, including materials and parts for repair and maintenance works, such as weather-damaged buildings, frozen pipes and boiler repairs, which start to increase at this time of year.”

The BMF’s guidance has been endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which has created a Construction Industry Task Force to provide a focal point for co-ordinating the industry’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

BMF is a member of the Task Force, which comprises of leading trade associations representing both large and small firms in the construction sector, contractors, specialist contractors, home builders, product manufacturers, merchants and associated professional services, as well as Government Departments and major clients of the industry.

Mr Newcomb added: “The Government has made it clear that merchants are a vital part of the construction supply chain and it is important they continue to support the construction industry to operate on sites, and to provide the link between product manufacturers and the firms and tradespeople that use and install the products they make.” 
 
Construction leaders are taking steps to ensure safety first in builders’ merchants, as the new Covid-19 restrictions come into place.

Jeremy Gear to Chair BMF Roofing Forum


02 November 2020

Jeremy Gear, MD of Roofing Gear, the Somerset-based specialist roofing merchant, is the new Chairman of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Roofing Forum.  Jeremy takes of over from Steve Revell of Skyline
 Roofing who helped establish the BMF’s roofing group from its inception 3 years ago.

Jeremy has spent most of his 35-year career as a roofing specialist, initially with independent merchant B R Slade (now Bradfords), followed by external sales roles with Redland Roof Tiles and Redbank Clay Manufacturing, before founding his own roofing supply business in 2004.  Roofing Gear now operates from depots in Yeovil and Dorchester.

Commenting on the industry and his appointment, Jeremy said: 

“The roofing industry has served me well and I am delighted to have the opportunity to give something back by leading the BMF Roofing Forum.  I’ve seen many changes over the years with the sector becoming more technical, the product range multiplying, and a plethora of regulations introduced.  While there are many specialist roofing merchants today, the segment provides great opportunities for generalist merchants who want roofing as part of their portfolio.

“My ideal scenario for the Forum is to bring together like-minded individuals – experienced or not – and identify training opportunities, work with selected manufacturers who can provide CPD and product updates, and eventually take the group around the country to visit production sites. However, my first meeting will be held virtually.”

The BMF Roofing Forum meets twice a year, with the next virtual meeting planned for 9 December via Zoom. Register your interest here or visit the Events section at www.bmf.org.uk
 
Jeremy Gear, MD of Roofing Gear, the Somerset-based specialist roofing merchant, is the new Chairman of the Builders Merchants Federation’s (BMF) Roofing Forum. Jeremy takes of over from Steve Revell of Skyline Roofing who helped establish the BMF’s

HSS Hire Group joins the BMF

29 October 2020

HSS Hire Group, a market leader in equipment hire and associated support services, is the latest company to join the Builders Merchants Federation.

HSS, which offers a one stop shop for equipment hire including more specialist lines, serves a diverse customer base from those working on large B2B projects to DIY enthusiasts.  With a national network of own brand branches, customer distribution centres and within builders merchants depots, HSS supports customers across the UK and Ireland.

Craig Stanford, Business Development Director, HSS Hire Group said:

“We are extremely excited to join the Builders Merchant Federation.  This comes at a time when we are increasingly working alongside the merchant community, having built some brilliant partnerships with regional, independent builders merchants.  Having a facility onsite to offer tool hire for their customers has proved of mutual benefit. Now we are members of the BMF we look forward to becoming further involved in this exciting industry – one that has led the way in overcoming adversity under this year’s highly  unusual circumstances.”

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to welcome HSS to the BMF.  It is clear that they are keen to play an active role in the industry, engaging with merchants and making the most of their membership.  We look forward to working with them in the coming year and beyond.”
 
HSS Hire Group, a market leader in equipment hire and associated support services, is the latest company to join the Builders Merchants Federation.

Uncertainty looms for construction industry under no deal Brexit 

28 October 2020

The impact of a potential no deal Brexit will bring far-reaching repercussions for the construction sector.

Members of the Construction Leadership Council’s Brexit Movement of Building Products and Materials Group have warned that tariffs, border controls and disruption to the supply chain will impact an industry already balancing the challenges of Covid-19. 

John Newcomb, Co-Chair of the Group and Chief Executive of the Builders Merchants Federation, said: “We need a deal with the EU. 

“Without it, the impact of large-scale price increases across the industry and other issues will present a big blow to the UK economy.

“Our worry is if we have no deal and then go to World Trade Organisation tariffs, we will definitely get significant price increases across this multi-billion-pound sector.”

Peter Caplehorn, fellow Co-Chair of the CLC’s Brexit Movement of Building Products and Materials Group and CEO of the Construction Products Association, said: “In addition to the potential for increased prices the sector is concerned that a no deal will result in further uncertainty over the availability of components, materials, and significant commodity’s. 

“Clearly our members will do everything they can to mitigate these issues but without a deal we will be confronted with some difficult situations just at a time where the industry has robustly responded to the challenges of the pandemic while keeping those employed safe and contributing to the much needed economic recovery. 

“Every effort should be made to ensure a deal is delivered.”

Fears of an impact on prices are echoed by Tom Reynolds, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association. He said: “Looking ahead new customs procedures will incur significant additional costs on businesses, not all of which can be absorbed.

“A significant proportion of bathroom products come from the EU, so new tariffs, possibly ranging from two to 12 percent will, in most cases, need to be passed through into price rises.”

According to Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, Covid-19 has already affected confidence in the trade, and Brexit uncertainty risks adding to this.

Mr Berry said: “Across several regions, the feedback we have received is that ongoing uncertainty and price increases are having a real impact on builders’ ability to plan for jobs.

“They are struggling to reliably cost jobs and quote for work because they don’t know what the cost of materials will be from one week to the next.”

Concerns about the future are also evident in the supply chain among manufacturers and merchants. 

Andy Williamson, Commercial Director at SIG UK, said: “Most of the feedback we are receiving is around a no deal situation, rather than a deal, which could mean working under WTO rules in a number of areas and this is where possible price increases are coming.”

And Ian McConville, Group Procurement Director, of MKM Building Supplies, added: “We are seeing no evidence of material prices at the moment due to Brexit.

“However, we have seen notifications of potential increases dependent on WTO tariffs being applied.”   
 
The impact of a potential no deal Brexit will bring far-reaching repercussions for the construction sector.

John Bercow announced in new Speaker role at BMF All Industry Conference


26 October 2020
  

John Bercow entered Parliament as Conservative MP for Buckingham in 1997 and was appointed Shadow Chief Treasury and then Work and Pensions Secretary before resigning to support the Labour Government’s policy to allow unmarried gay and heterosexual couples to adopt.  He is, however, best known as Speaker Bercow.

Having been elected to the role with a mission to “strengthen the backbenches and recognise that Parliament is more than a rubber-stamping operation for the government of the day”, he built a reputation as a reformer and was re-elected three times.  During his decade long tenure he extended the time for PMQs and increased the use of “Urgent Questions”, requiring Ministers to make 685 statements on pressing issues.  

His determination to champion the rights of Parliament inevitably attracted supporters and detractors, notably during the Brexit debates when he dismissed accusations of bias saying his role was to stand up for the rights of the House of Commons.

As Speaker Bercow, John had to be neutral but now there are no such constraints on his views, which should make for a memorable Conference address.  As well as his Saturday morning speaking session, John will also join BMF members on Friday night’s Dine-Around.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: 

“In the year that the UK begins a new relationship with the European Union and in the wake of the disruption caused by Covid-19, we are delighted that John Bercow, who was at the centre of Parliament for a decade will share his opinions with Conference.  

“This session always draws a full house, and John follows in the footsteps of other political heavyweights including Michael Portillo in 2013, Alistair Campbell (2015), Paddy Ashdown (2017) and John Prescott (2019).  I have no doubt that John’s address will once again be one of the highlights of our Conference.”

The dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference 2021 takes place in Harrogate and York from 17-20 June.  The final merchant places and supplier packages are selling out fast. Book yours at www.bmfconference.co.uk or contact June.Upton@bmf.org.uk

The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group.  Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.
 
John Bercow, the first Speaker of the House of Commons since World War II to keep order in front of four Prime Ministers, will take on a very different speaking role at the BMF All Industry Conference 2021 next June.
John Bercow, the first Speaker of the House of Commons since World War II to keep order in front of four Prime Ministers, will take on a very different speaking role at the BMF All Industry Conference 2021 next June.

BMF calls on government to extend Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

20 October 2020

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is calling on the Government to extend the Trade Credit Insurance re-insurance scheme introduced to support trading following the initial Covid-19 lockdown, which is scheduled to finish at the end of December this year.

Over 50% of BMF members use some form of Trade Credit Insurance to transact with both customers and suppliers. The Government re-insurance scheme – which provided a £10 billion guarantee – has helped merchants to access the appropriate level of Trade Credit Insurance to operate their businesses and trade with confidence since it was introduced in May, backdated to 1 April 2020.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, who chairs the Construction Leadership Council’s insurance working group, has written to the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) formally requesting a six-month extension to the scheme, to the 30 June 2021. 
 
John Newcomb said: 

“Trade Credit Insurance is a vitally important part of the construction industry, which ensures the smooth flow of goods and materials throughout the supply chain.

“We were extremely pleased that the Government supported it in May. However, we are now experiencing a series of local lockdowns leading to continued uncertainty for the whole construction industry.  

“In a survey of companies across the construction industry – many of whom are involved in building materials manufacture and supply – over 54% of respondents believed that without Government intervention insurers are unlikely to maintain an appropriate level of cover for their business when the current re-insurance scheme ends.

“An extension to the current scheme beyond the 31 December deadline will support the industry with business confidence and help it through the continued uncertainty of trading throughout the pandemic.”   

The BMF expects to hear the Government’s decision on extending the Trade Credit Insurance re-insurance scheme by mid-November
 
The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is calling on the Government to extend the Trade Credit Insurance re-insurance scheme introduced to support trading following the initial Covid-19 lockdown, which is scheduled to finish at the end of December t

BMF welcomes Green Homes Grant


1 October 2020

BMF welcomes Green Homes Grant A trade body representing a substantial part of the UK economy has welcomed a £3 billion boost for the building industry.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), which represents manufacturers of building materials and merchants across the UK, hopes the Government’s new Green Homes Grant will create more jobs in this sector.

Around 80 per cent of the building products manufactured by its members, used in the construction of homes and buildings, are made in the UK.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “We hope the Green Homes Grant will give renewed impetus to help people and companies move towards a low- or zero-carbon future in their homes and workplaces.

“With 80 per cent of building materials manufactured by our members in the UK, and much of the products sold through builders merchants at the heart of their local communities, this is an important sector, which will be key to the recovery of our national economy.”

Total membership of the BMF stands at 751 members, who together have combined sales of £38 billion and employ over 180,000 people in the building materials industry. 

Mr Newcomb added: “Investment and innovation are happening every day across our members’ businesses.

“The sector makes a significant contribution to the economy and it’s important for us to reinforce the message of its value and importance.”

The Green Homes Grant is expected to support 100,000 jobs in green construction and is part of a wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings as the UK aims to reach zero net emissions by 2050.

The BMF is working in partnership with TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality scheme, to ensure quality in the programme’s supply chain.

£2 billion has been earmarked for home upgrades, with a further £1 billion dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of public buildings.

The grant will fund up to two thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000 and will cover projects such as insulation of walls, floors and roofs to replacing windows with double or triple glazing. 

Low-carbon power options are also covered by the grant – which could save householders up to £600 a year on energy bills.
 
A trade body representing a substantial part of the UK economy has welcomed a £3 billion boost for the building industry.

Figures set out Brexit scenarios on UK building materials industry    


24 September 2020

New figures reveal a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have a significant economic impact on the manufacture and supply of building materials across the UK in 2021.

Forecasts from the BMF point to a 2.8 per cent increase for the sector next year if an agreement is not reached, against a 5.9 per cent increase if a deal is struck with the European Union.

The figures are revealed in the latest issue of the BMF’s market data report, the ‘Builders Merchants Industry Forecast,’ which analyses both scenarios relating to the UK’s exit from the EU.

While Q1 of 2021 forecasts substantial or slight declines depending on the outcome with the EU, a more positive outcome for Q2 next year is predicted, with a bounce back of 17.9 per cent or 11.3 per cent reported, subject to the way Brexit is delivered.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This forecast report is a comprehensive analysis of merchant market performance from July 2014 to June 2020, coupled with an analysis of the key factors affecting builders’ merchants to project future sales from July 2020 to December 2021.

“Interestingly, both Brexit scenarios, deal or no deal, expect a subdued start to the year, with strong performance expected in Q2 largely affected by poor Q2 performance this year.”

The BMF’s Builders Merchants Industry Forecast provides a comprehensive analysis and forecast of the builders’ merchant sector.

It includes key statistics, as well as the general economic performance and outlook, with commentary on inflation, wage growth, the labour market and economic growth. 

Detailed information includes a valuation of the merchant share of both the UK Building Materials Market and the Plumbing and Heating Market 2019. 

The BMF has also worked alongside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop a forecast for the remainder of the year using data from national merchants and large independents, as well as buying groups and housebuilders.
 
New figures reveal a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have a significant economic impact on the manufacture and supply of building materials across the UK in 2021.

BMF All Industry Conference comes home for 2021


17 September 2020

The BMF is bringing the 2021 All Industry Conference home, with a patriotic dual centre event in Yorkshire taking place from 17-20 June.  

The main Conference business will take place at the award-winning Yorkshire Event Centre, outside Harrogate with the Gala Dinner held close by in the historic city of York.

In the year that the UK begins a new relationship with the European Union, the Conference theme Building Beyond Boundaries could not be more topical, as the country looks beyond traditional geographical boundaries to build new trading relationships, and the industry moves beyond the boundaries imposed by the Covid health crisis and responds to Government incentives to Build, Build, Build.

BMF Chief Executive, John Newcomb said: 

“In the wake of the disruption caused by Covid, and as the UK ends its current relationship with the EU, we were determined to demonstrate our support for Britain, by holding the All Industry Conference in the UK for the first time in 30 years.  By bringing our premier Conference home we are putting cash back into the UK economy and assisting a sector that has been particularly badly affected in 2020.

“Our industry thrives on networking and relationships and I know everyone was disappointed that this year’s event was, rightly, cancelled.  We will have to be out of social distancing measures for the 2021 Conference to go ahead, but that is not a reason not to work towards a fantastic event to signal our confidence in the market’s ongoing recovery.”

Conference delegates will have the choice of two four-star Harrogate hotels – the Majestic and the Crowne Plaza – which together can accommodate 350 guests.  A key difference to 2021 Conference programme is the addition of a Supplier Exhibition, replacing the Merchant/Supplier Exchange sessions.  However, the three-day event will, of course, feature the popular Friday night dine-arounds and a full programme of social activities.

The Crystal Group will sponsor the BMF All Industry Conference for the second year.  Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Marsh Industries, Rockwool and SIG.

For further details and to register your interest at this stage, please contact june.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
The BMF is bringing the 2021 All Industry Conference home, with a patriotic dual centre event in Yorkshire taking place from 17-20 June.

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Press enquires for the builders merchants and building materials industry;

The Builders Merchants Federation is the only trade association that represents and protects the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the building materials industry in the UK and Ireland.

Total membership at 1 January 2020 stands at 710 merchant, supplier and service companies who together have combined sales of £32bn and employ around 138,000 people in the building materials industry. BMF’s 363 merchant members operate from over 5,450 branches across the UK and Ireland.

From the saw-mill, quarry and out to the shop floor, the BMF has a unique perspective, which is of value to the media.

For press enquiries regarding the building materials sector/merchants sector, please contact;

Jane Shepherd
jane@shepherd-pr.com
07985 129315
01538 308685