BMF News

BMF earns 10th best practice Award nomination this year  


The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.  

The BMF is shortlisted in two categories, Best Membership Engagement and Best Social Media Campaign. The first reflecting the BMF’s success in growing member numbers and broadening its appeal through the development of a wide range of Forums, and the second acknowledging its effective use of social media channels to broaden message reach and promote further engagement through the BMF website.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “This has been an extraordinary year with the breadth and depth of our work for BMF members recognised in no fewer than 10 Award nominations. We view Awards such as these as a benchmark to measure our own performance against our peers in other trade bodies and professional associations – many of whom operate far larger organisations. I am extremely proud of the work of every member of the BMF team. They have yet again demonstrated that we are punching above our weight in support of our members.”

Run by the Association of Associations Executives, which has over 15,000 members throughout Europe, the Association Awards recognise excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The BMF is one of three shortlisted organisations in each of its shortlisted categories. The winners will be announced on 18th December.
The BMF has earned its tenth Award nomination this year, with its latest initiatives to engage with members and its use of social media being recognised in the prestigious Association Awards, which promote excellence in association leadership.

IoD boss to speak at BMF All Industry Conference  


Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.  

Stephen, who took over the top role at the IoD in 2017, is no stranger to the building industry. He began his career as a quantity surveyor and following senior roles at Westinghouse Security Systems, Kvaerner Metals and Amey Rail, he was appointed Chief Executive of Barhale Construction in 2002. Following this he served as CEO of the Clugston Group, a construction logistics and property development firm for ten years, during which time he appeared on the first series of the Channel 4 television show Undercover Boss. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors, a companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “Like the BMF, the IoD took a neutral stance on Brexit ahead of the referendum. But with the All Industry Conference being the first BMF hosted event after official date for the UK to exit the EU, I’m sure Stephen will have a view on how the government can best support business in the UK through the transition period and beyond.”  

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   
Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s longest-running organisation for business leaders, is the latest speaker confirmed for the BMF All Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June 2019.

BMF Anniversary Dinner raises £6,000 for charity


A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charity. While the BMF has celebrated 40 years as a Federation and 110 years a trade body, the RAF has marked its own centenary throughout 2018.

Over 160 people attended the event with multiple generations of merchants represented from Past Presidents, Stuart Somerville, Stuart Mason-Elliott, Barrie Crow and David Gandy, and past and present BMF Board members to members of the BMF Young Merchant Group.

They were entertained by guest speaker Squadron Leader John Peters, comedian Hal Cruttenden, singers Lee Osborne and the Opera Dudes, with profile portraits created by the Roving Artist.

The dinner also provided an opportunity to celebrate another landmark. The BMF’s longest-serving member of staff, John Stephenson, was presented with a special award to mark his retirement in December after 24 years of service.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in all three celebrations during our Anniversary year – our first Parliamentary Reception in April, our first Young Merchants’ Conference in October and, of course, this gala Anniversary Dinner, which has raised a fantastic sum for two very worthy charities. In particular, our thanks go to the 20 Supplier Partners who have worked most closely with the BMF in recent years, helping us to stage these events.

“While it is only right and proper to celebrate our heritage, our focus is firmly rooted in the 21st Century, and our mission to support BMF members to build excellence remains at the heart of everything we do.”
A gala members’ dinner at the Belfry Hotel, the final celebration marking the BMF Anniversary year, raised £6,000 to be shared between Variety, the Children’s Charity – the BMF’s charity of the year – and RAFA, the Royal Air Forces Association charit

Positive summer for builders merchants sales  


GfK and BMBIAfter a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017.  July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to an end.  

Timber and Joinery showed the highest value growth across the quarter with a year on year increase of 9.6%. This was driven by sheet materials and timber items such as carcassing, battens and trusses.  

Landscaping, helped by a warm dry summer, saw sales rise 7.8% year on year with decking, tools and watering showing the strongest growth.  

Quarterly sales in the Plumbing Heating and Electrical category were up by 3.4% year on year. Dig deeper and the category showed mixed results, as a positive quarter for boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.  

Heavy Building Materials, the largest category, had a slower quarter than some with sales value growth of 2.4% on Q3 2017.  

The Kitchen and Bathroom and Decorating categories both grew by 2.1% year on year.  

The figures are taken from the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) that contains data from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel which analyses 80% of generalist builders’ merchants’ sales throughout Great Britain. While the data confirms a year on year increase in sales performance, the 2018 quarter on quarter comparison found that the market has slowed, with average sales a day in Q3 falling by -3.4% from Q2.  However, this is not untypical in the builders’ merchants’ cycle and year to date sales for the nine months January to September 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017.  

Commenting on the results, John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “Builders merchants sales continue to show value growth, but there are one or two indicators within the wider market that we need to note going forward including rising costs for labour, fuel and raw materials. In addition, the merchants’ main customer base, SME builders, depend on continued consumer confidence to progress domestic RMI work. Uncertainty over Brexit is a common thread between all of these factors and, unfortunately, no one can predict what the final agreement will be.”  

Richard Frankcom of GfK said: “Overall this is another quarter of solid value performance, but the BMBI does not consider volumes and prices. I have two questions.  Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might.”
After a robust second quarter, sales through UK builders’ merchants continued to deliver value growth in Q3 2018, rising by 4.2% on the same period in 2017. July provided the strongest year on year growth, tailing off slightly as the quarter came to

Iconic RAF speaker to headline BMF’s landmark Anniversary Dinner  


A year of celebration for the BMF draws to a close with a special Anniversary Dinner to mark 40 years of the BMF itself and 110 years as a Trade Body. Fittingly, the BMF’s guest speaker comes from another iconic organisation celebrating its own centenary this year, the RAF.   

Squadron Leader John Peters came to international attention in January 1991 when his bruised and battered face flashed onto television screens around the world.  He was captured and tortured after his RAF Tornado was shot down over Iraq during the first Gulf War and his disfigured image became a potent symbol of Saddam Hussein’s ruthless aggression.   

While his Gulf War experience tested him to the absolute limit, far from being doom and gloom, his speeches exude warmth, humour and tenacity moving audiences from laughter to tears to inspired reflection.  

BMF CEO John Newcomb said, “We are looking forward to welcoming John Peters to the BMF Anniversary Dinner. As well as hearing more about his extraordinary life experiences, John will share some of the highlights of the RAF’s centenary and the work of the RAF Association, the charity which supports the RAF family.”  

The BMF Anniversary Dinner takes place on 29 November 2018 at the award-winning Belfry Hotel in Warwickshire. Known for its world class golf courses and state of the art leisure facilities, the Belfry was named as England’s Leading Resort and Leading Conference Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2017.  

A limited number of merchant tickets are still available for the Anniversary Dinner. BMF merchant members wishing to attend should contact June.Upton@bmf.org.uk or telephone her on 02476 854982.
A year of celebration for the BMF draws to a close with a special Anniversary Dinner to mark 40 years of the BMF itself and 100 years as a Trade Body. Fittingly, the BMF’s guest speaker comes from another iconic organisation celebrating its own cente

Local MP visits historic builders' merchants    


John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare has visited local business Bradfords Building Supplies for a tour of their site and to meet staff.  

Bradfords Building Supplies are a historic success story, as the oldest known merchant at 248 years old, founded in 1770. In what began as a quarrying business, Bradfords now delivers essential supplies for construction and housing projects across the South West and West of England.  

During the visit, Chris Briar, Branch Manager at Bradfords Building Supplies set out the key role that builders’ merchants play, both for the local economy and more broadly in meeting housing demand and supply across the UK. He also explained his support for simplifying and speeding up the planning process, with constructions projects delivering much needed home for local residents and creating jobs in the community.  

Bradfords also urged Mr Penrose to take matters up in Parliament to ensure post-Brexit customs arrangements do not hike up the costs of materials, such as bricks and timber, by 20%. They warned this would a significant impact on cashflow, prices, and contract terms and conditions.  

Speaking at Bradfords Building Supplies, John Penrose MP said, “It was great to meet the staff and see another example of businesses flourishing in Weston. They’d do even better if we can change the rules to let people “Build Up Not Out” in urban areas. We would create huge amounts of affordable, green and convenient building sites at a stroke; giving an enormous shot in the arm for construction sector businesses like Bradfords, not just in Weston but across the entire country too.”  

Chris Briar, Branch Manager at Bradfords Building Supplies said, “We were delighted to welcome Mr Penrose to Bradfords Building Supplies and show him how the company has evolved over the past 248 years. It is always great to have our MP taking an interest in local businesses such as ours, and offering his support. We were grateful to discuss with Mr Penrose key issues affecting our industry, and look forward to working with him to build the Weston-Super-Mare economy”  

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliamentary programme. The BMF takes MPs to visit merchants in their constituency to see how builders, plumbers and timber merchants deliver for their local communities.
John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare has visited local business Bradfords Building Supplies for a tour of their site and to meet staff.

BMF opens third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland at Superglass  


The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.  

The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Superglass Insulation produces thermal and acoustic glass mineral wool products to exacting standards, evidenced by the recent £37m investment in state of the art manufacturing facilities which will double output at their Stirling base.  

The BMF’s latest RCOE is situated at the Superglass Futureworks Innovation Centre, a unique resource for architects and industry professionals alike. The 3,000 sq ft facility combines contemporary meeting space for up to 40 people with a comprehensive product demonstration area showcasing the latest products.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to open our third Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland. It’s a fantastic centre for members to meet and attend BMF forums and training courses. I look forward to meeting many local members there in the future.”  

Andy Murray, UK Sales Director at Superglass said, “We are thrilled to have the Superglass Innovation Centre designated as a BMF Centre of Excellence. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and corporate culture, and we believe this is most successful when undertaken in a spirit of collaboration with our trade partners. This opening is testament to that commitment.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about Superglass visit https://www.superglass.co.uk/ .
The BMF has launched its 22nd Regional Centre of Excellence (RCOE), and the third in Scotland, at Superglass Insulation in Stirling.

Chancellor backs BMF regional Help to Buy proposals


The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget. 

Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.  

“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.

“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.

Mr Newcomb also welcomes the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news.

“A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building. 

“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”. 
The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of

BMF All Industry Conference looks to change conversation on mental health  


The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by Crystal Direct. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story and offer practical advice on how to work with and overcome mental health issues in the workplace.  

Their campaigning work is potentially life-saving. On World Mental Health Day, earlier this month, the Government announced the appointment of a suicide prevention minister – shockingly suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 45, affecting people from every walk of life. In a recent study more than half of those in the construction trade (55%) are said to have experienced mental health issues at some point, while another industry study last year found one in four have considered taking their own life.  

Neil and Jonny’s story was featured in a Channel 4 documentary which led to a private meeting with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Following this they ran the 2017 London Marathon in support of the Heads Together mental health initiative, spearheaded by the royal couple and Prince Harry, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “There is a growing understanding within our industry that mental health is as important as physical health and a number of BMF members, including Chandlers, Haldane Fisher and Travis Perkins are already implementing programmes both to raise awareness amongst staff and customers and to support employees. Neil and Jonny’s presentation is one of the most powerful that I have ever seen and I’m certain that it will resonate with every delegate in the room.”  

Neil and Jonny will also lead a BMF Industry Forum on Day Two, sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain, which will further explore a subject that is gradually breaking free of the stigmas that have surrounded it for many years.  

David Travill, MD at Isover Saint-Gobain said, “We are extremely pleased to support this important discussion. A generation ago no one spoke about cancer but bringing it out in the open increased funding for research and vastly increased survival rates. Today we are in a similar position with mental health. Talking about it begins the process of putting mental health on an equal footing to physical health, which will ultimately benefit every one of us, and our businesses.”  

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
The BMF will be addressing the important issue of mental health at next year’s BMF All Industry Conference. Speaking on the main platform on Day One, award-winning mental health campaigners Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE will share their story

VAT: Shadow Chancellor reassures the BMF   


"Don’t worry, we want to protect and safeguard investment in renewable energy and green infrastructure to help insulate homes and fit solar panels" was the message from John McDonnell MP to the BMF yesterday.  

The Shadow Chancellor was answering a question from Brett Amphlett, who represented the BMF at a major Labour Party event near Trafalgar Square in London. Mr McDonnell gave a keynote televised speech to set out his Party’s key demands from the Autumn Budget next week.  

The BMF wants politicians to understand that leaving the EU throws in question the future of Value-Added Tax because it is a European tax. News is awaited on whether a replacement purchase tax is being hatched by the Treasury and HMRC if the UK leaves on a ‘no deal’ basis.  

Brett Amphlett, BMF Policy and Public Affairs’ Manager, asked John McDonnell MP if Labour will fight to retain or revamp existing categories of reduced VAT on the supply and professional installation of energy-efficient and water-saving materials. He said yes - for home energy efficiency and for female sanitary products - and Labour will want to talk to the BMF in due course.  

The Shadow Chancellor added that Labour believes in clean energy and cited a 95% decline in renewables in recent years due to cuts in government subsidies to transform the market. His Shadow Cabinet colleague, Rebecca Long Bailey MP, was onstage with Mr McDonnell. She leads Labour’s efforts for a change in business rates applicable to solar panels on commercial buildings. This is widely seen as a major factor for corporate businesses in deciding on rooftop solar PV.  

The speech took place at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in front of an invited audience of business representatives and journalists from the national print & broadcast media.  

Since June 2012, the BMF has lobbied to keep 5% VAT on energy-saving materials defined in eleven product categories under EU law. On several occasions, Mr Amphlett has raised it in person with senior politicians - including the Prime Minister, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the minister with day-to-day responsibility for VAT, and the leadership of both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.
"Don’t worry, we want to protect and safeguard investment in renewable energy and green infrastructure to help insulate homes and fit solar panels" was the message from John McDonnell MP to the BMF yesterday.

BMF calls for regional help to buy freedoms


The BMF has called for the Chancellor to localise Help to Buy to better fit with regional property prices.  

In a letter to the Chancellor in advance of the Budget, the BMF say that the Help to Buy policy has brought a major boost to the materials supply chain over recent years and demand it is continued beyond 2021.  

The trade body put forward innovative proposals that would see regional thresholds set to reflect the conditions of the house prices and demand in the local area.  

Commenting on the proposals, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The Chancellor must resist any calls to end Help to Buy. As well as supporting many more people to get on the housing ladder, the supply of materials for these new homes has become an important part of builders merchants turnover.  

“The Government must continue to be bold if we are to meet housing demand. Local thresholds for Help to Buy will support more first time buyers, stimulate local economies and support the creation of many more homes”.  

In their letter to the Chancellor the BMF also called for schools to engage with the BMF to include merchants in careers’ advice services and allow postponed accounting and let firms account for import VAT on their quarterly VAT return.
The BMF has called for the Chancellor to localise Help to Buy to better fit with regional property prices. In a letter to the Chancellor in advance of the Budget, the BMF say that the Help to Buy policy has brought a major boost to the material

Xtratherm opens first BMF Regional Centre of Excellence in the Republic of Ireland   


The BMF has launched its 21st Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of Xtratherm, the first BMF Centre in the Republic of Ireland. The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members around the UK and Ireland. The latest centre, based in Xtratherm’s fantastic premises in Navan, will serve BMF members in Ireland.  

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

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted to open our first Regional Centre of Excellence in the Republic of Ireland. This is a natural progression following the BMF’s group membership agreement with the Irish merchant buying group AMBA 10 months ago, and gives us a fantastic resource where members in Ireland can meet and attend BMF training courses. I look forward to attending our first meeting there in January 2019.”  

Danny Kearney, Director of Technical Sales & Marketing said: “As part of our ongoing commitment we have developed the Xtratherm Innovation Centre to demonstrate best practice on site and to ‘Close the Gap’ between design and on-site performance. We are delighted to be associated with the BMF and for the opportunity to share our knowledge and resources with BMF members. We are looking forward in welcoming more visitors to our centre in the coming months.”  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about Xtratherm visit https://www.xtratherm.com.
The BMF has launched its 21st Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of Xtratherm, the first BMF Centre in the Republic of Ireland. The growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence is making training courses and regional meetings mor

BMF launches Supplier Training Prospectus  


The BMF has published for the first time a dedicated BMF Supplier Training Prospectus detailing the full range of over 60 training courses available for this member group.  

The new BMF Supplier Training Prospectus covers training programmes in three key areas, Management & Leadership, Sales and Operations/Transport. It also includes a training Roadmap to highlight courses that work well together and charts various paths that will help an individual to progress through different stages of their career from apprenticeship to senior management.  

The new Prospectus features a number of specialist courses developed purely for supplier members including “Selling into Merchants”, “Developing a Sales Strategy” and “Supplier Negotiation”. Other new courses featured include “Quicker, Better Meetings”, “Key Account Management”, “Sales Coaching and Performance Management” and “How a House is Built”.  

Each course is clearly described, outlining the purpose and objectives as well as the staff who would benefit most from its content, and further development opportunities for those attending.  

Details of BMF Apprenticeship Plus, with options for both smaller companies and larger levy-paying organisations through the BMF’s Apprenticeship Training Agency or its Levy Management Service, are also contained in the Prospectus.  

Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director said: “This is the first publication to group together all our training courses for Supplier members. Some BMF training courses are equally relevant to both supplier and merchant members and these have been included together with newly created courses specifically designed to meet the needs of building materials suppliers. Importantly, they are designed to be flexible in the way they can be delivered, with open courses that can be held at regional venues such as the growing number of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence, or delivered “in-company” as a truly bespoke service.”  

For more information or to order your copy of the BMF Supplier Training Prospectus, contact paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk or on 02456 854980, or visit www.bmf.org.uk/training
The BMF has published for the first time a dedicated BMF Supplier Training Prospectus detailing the full range of over 60 training courses available for this member group.

New team heads up thriving BMF Young Merchant Group  


Glenn Paddison, Branch Director at MKM Building Supplies is the new Chair of the Builders’ Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Group. He will be supported by Jo Callow, Merchant Sales Support Manager at Knauf Insulation, who was elected to replace Glenn as the Vice Chair.  

Glenn takes over from Victoria Fiddies of Catnic who has just completed her two-year term as Chair.  

Glenn and Jo took up their new roles following the BMF Young Merchant Group’s first Conference which was held at the NEC during National Construction Week in October. The Conference, organised as part of the BMF’s Anniversary Year, was a great success, attracting 150 delegates drawn from current, past and potential Young Merchant Group members. Highlights included keynote speaker George Clarke, the architect, television presenter and campaigner, who not only spoke passionately on the need to attract more young people into the whole construction industry including the building materials sector, but also voiced some ingenious ideas to help overcome the country’s housing shortage.  

Membership of the BMF Young Merchant Group is open to merchants and suppliers aged between 21 and 40 holding a key management position within their organisation. The Group meets twice a year in the autumn and spring, and also organises an annual trip overseas.   

As well as offering opportunities to network and share experience, the meetings regularly feature one or more speakers to encourage and inspire members. Another Conference highlight was the lively Q&A session following an Industry Forum led by Peter Hindle MBE, BMF Chairman, Andrew Harrison, Deputy CEO P&H of Travis Perkins, David Kilburn, Executive Chairman of MKM Building Supplies and Steve Durdant-Hollamby, MD of Alumasc Water Management Solutions, himself a former member of the Young Merchant Group  

Glenn and Jo are keen to continue developing the BMF Young Merchant’s work and influence.  

Glenn said, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to take on the role of Chair and would like to thank everyone who voted for me as well as MKM Building Supplies for supporting me in taking up this role. I would also like to thank Victoria Fiddies for her excellent leadership during the last two years. I’m looking forward to working with Jo to broaden the Group’s scope even further. I believe there is more to achieve through the BMF Ambassador programme to promote careers in our industry to school and college leavers and this group is in a great position to take a leading role in that. I can also see an opportunity to strengthen our ties with European merchants to learn from their experiences and share best practice, perhaps in the form of a European Conference.”  

Commenting on her appointment as Vice Chair, Jo Callow, said, “I’ve been a passionate and committed member of the group for five years and the interaction has definitely helped me as I’ve progressed my career. As a keen advocate for women in our industry, I’m delighted that I will be continuing the strong and encouraging female presence following Vic’s term of office and look forward to working with Glenn to take forward the baton to continue to grow the group and deliver quality events.”  

Jo was also pleased to announce that Knauf Insulation will host the BMF Young Merchant overseas trip in 2019, which will tour the company’s manufacturing facility in Toulouse as well as visiting French builders’ merchants.  
 
For further information on the BMF Young Merchant Group contact James.Spillane@bmf.org.uk
Glenn Paddison, Branch Director at MKM Building Supplies is the new Chair of the Builders’ Merchants Federation’s Young Merchant Group. He will be supported by Jo Callow, Merchant Sales Support Manager at Knauf Insulation, who was elected to replace

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