BMF News

BMF CALLS UP THE SAS FOR MEMBERS DAY CONFERENCE


6 April 2021

BMF calls up the SAS for Members Day ConferenceOllie Ollerton, one of the first former members of the UK Special Forces to talk about their experiences and turn them into a positive force for good, will be the headline speaker at the BMF Members’ Day Conference on 23 September 2021, which takes the theme “Reshape, Renew, Rebuild.”  

Ollie, one of the most highly trained fighters in the world, served in both the SAS and the SBS, undertaking operations in some of the most dangerous and remote locations on Earth, involving hostage rescue, counter narcotics and counter terrorism.  He went on to use his expertise in South-East Asia commanding a three-man team infiltrating child trafficking rings, a cause that remains close to his heart today.

Returning to the UK, he founded BREAK-POINT, a leadership and development course for the public and corporate world that also supports veterans suffering the effects of PTSD.  You may also know him as a DS on the popular TV programme “SAS: Who Dares Wins”, which brought the Special Forces into the public eye, demonstrating how mental strength and physical power could combine to incredible effect.

John Newcomb BMF CEO said: “After a year in which everyone has had to dig deep to overcome the challenges thrown up by Covid-19, we are delighted that Ollie will be sharing his experiences and explaining how mental and physical strength combine to create a powerful force within us.”

John Newcomb added: “We are also delighted that this year’s BMF Members’ Day Conference and Awards will once again take place as a physical event, in a superb new venue for the event, the De Vere Beaumont Estate in Old Windsor, Berkshire.  The location enables us to hold our annual Golf Tournament at the nearby Windlesham Golf Course and a new water-based social activity, the Great BMF Boat Race, on Dorney Lake.  Both activities will take place the previous day, 22 September.

“I would like to thank our headline sponsor, Marshalls Stonemarket, H+H who are sponsoring Ollie Ollerton, and all our event and award sponsors for their valued support.”

To find out more and book your place for the BMF Members’ Day Conference and Awards 2021, please visit the events section at www.bmf.org.uk

 
BMF calls up the SAS for Members Day Conference
Ollie Ollerton, one of the first former members of the UK Special Forces to talk about their experiences and turn them into a positive force for good, will be the headline speaker at the BMF Members’ Day Conference on 23 September 2021, which takes t

Two new members elected to BMF Board


29 March 2021

Two new members elected to BMF BoardFrank Elkins, Chief Operating Officer at Travis Perkins plc and Lee Harwood, Group Finance Director at Bradfords Building Supplies Ltd have been elected to the Board of the BMF. Frank Elkins takes up his position on 1 April 2021 and Lee Harwood begins his term of office on 1 June 2021.

The new Board members replace Andrew Harrison, who steps down on 31 March following his retirement from Travis Perkins Plumbing & Heating and Mark Smith of MKM, who retires from the BMF Board on 31 May having completed two three-year terms as BMF Hon Treasurer.

Frank Elkins has been in merchanting for over 30 years, most recently with Travis Perkins Plc, which he joined in 2010 as MD of BSS Industrial, becoming Divisional CEO of the contract merchanting division before his appointment to his current role in August 2020. Prior to this he held directorship positions in sales, service and operations at Hagmeyer UK, formerly Newey and Eyre the company he joined as a management trainee.

Frank’s passion for the industry encompasses developing the customer experience, raising standards in health, safety and wellbeing, and encouraging a more diverse group of young people into the industry.

Lee qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton in 2006 and held senior financial roles in the construction industry before joining Bradfords Group in 2009 as Group Financial Controller. He was appointed Finance Director of Bradfords Building Supplies in 2017 before joining the Bradfords Group Board as Group Finance Director in April 2020.  Prior to his career in finance, he served in the Royal Navy as a Warfare & Navigating Officer for 8 years.  Lee will take on the role of BMF Hon Treasurer.

BMF Chairman, Richard Hill said: “We are delighted to welcome two excellent representatives of the BMF’s broad membership to the Board.  The range of experience they offer will be extremely valuable as we move forward post-pandemic towards a low-carbon economy.”

BMF CEO, John Newcomb added: “I am very much looking forward to working with the new Board members, but I would also like to add my personal thanks to Andrew and Mark who are stepping down and whose advice and support I have greatly valued.”
 
Two new members elected to BMF Board
Frank Elkins, Chief Operating Officer at Travis Perkins plc and Lee Harwood, Group Finance Director at Bradfords Building Supplies Ltd have been elected to the Board of the BMF. Frank Elkins takes up his position on 1 April 2021 and Lee Harwood begin

BMF’s ETIM working groups forge the way for implementation


23 March 2021

BMF’s ETIM working groups forge the way for implementationThe BMF is forging ahead with implementation of the ETIM model of data classification which will ensure all users employ the same terms to describe the same attributes and values and thus simplify the process of transferring product information between manufacturer and merchant.  

By 1 April, six working groups will have met to agree terminology for the UK ETIM model for bricks and blocks, insulation, timber, paints and adhesives, cement, concrete and aggregates, plaster and plasterboard.

The implementation of ETIM is extremely timely as the proposed new Code for Construction Product Information is currently out for consultation and set to be introduced later this year.  The new Code is designed to set a level playing field for all construction product manufacturers and ensure the product information they provide is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous.  Within the consultation document, ETIM is recognised as an appropriate means of organising and communicating product information.

NMBS and Travis Perkins plc have both confirmed that they are adopting and implementing the ETIM data model as part of their product data management process within their e-commerce systems.

The working group covering bricks and blocks was the first to meet at the end of February.  Mark Morris, Commercial Director at Breedon Group, which manufactures both clay bricks and concrete blocks, was impressed by collegiate approach adopted by those attending and the progress made.  He said: 

“Under the guidance of BMF ETIM Manager, Dave Bate, the group looked at each category in great detail.  It was a very collegiate experience as personnel from a broad range of ceramic companies came together to share and learn with each other, to ensure we provided the very best input from our industry.”

Paul Needham, Director of UK Information Systems & Data at SIG Plc, which has joined the BMF’s ETIM Trailblazer group and also attended the first Insulation working group, expressed his company’s support for the project, saying: 

“As a part of a Group operating in multiple European counties, we’ve seen the benefits our counterparts have experienced in markets where ETIM is a much more common standard of communicating and sharing data.
 
“We’re excited to be joining this initiative as pioneers. We believe moving the UK industry to using ETIM will improve our ability to serve our customers, by equipping our colleagues with complete and accurate product data provided from a single source, the manufacturer.”

BMF CEO, John Newcomb, added:

“After an inevitable hiatus in the implementation process last year, we are determined to fast-track ETIM for building materials and HVAC products in 2021.  I would like to thank every business participating in these important working groups.  Their input is invaluable in developing the terminology for each product group that will quickly enable us to move to the next stage.”
 
BMF’s ETIM working groups forge the way for implementation
The BMF is forging ahead with implementation of the ETIM model of data classification which will ensure all users employ the same terms to describe the same attributes and values and thus simplify the process of transferring product information betwe

£3k cash bonus to boost merchant apprenticeships


22 March 2021

£3k cash bonus to boost merchant apprenticeshipsBMF Apprenticeships Plus is urging BMF members in England to take advantage of the Government’s temporary boost to apprenticeship funding, with incentive grants for employers increasing to £3,000 for apprentices of any age.  The £3,000 grant will be paid to any employer hiring a new apprentice between 1 April and 30 September 2021.

The increase was announced in the Chancellor’s Budget Speech as one of the measures to boost job opportunities. Previously firms in England received £2,000 for each new apprentice under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those over 25.  

The new £3,000 cash grant is on top of the £1,000 age incentive already provided for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 which means that some employers could receive £4,000 in total.

Carmen Daley, Operations Manager at BMF Apprenticeships Plus said:

“This is fantastic time for BMF merchant and supplier members to recruit an apprentice.  Our sector has remained busy throughout the current health crisis whilst others have, unfortunately, been forced to make redundancies.  And with a new cohort of school and college leavers seeking their first jobs in a few months’ time, this really is a perfect time to use the BMF Apprenticeships Plus service to secure a new member of staff.

The BMF Apprenticeships Plus service is designed to remove potential administrative hurdles and make it easy for BMF members to take on apprentices in any job role.  They can even employ an apprentice on a member’s behalf and take responsibility for all associated administration.  In this circumstance, the cash incentive will be passed back to the BMF member, offering the best of both worlds.” 

Carmen Daley added: “Employers can also claim the grant for existing employees.  As long as they have worked in your business for less than six months, you will be able to switch them to an apprenticeship, which could be a good way to upskill your team and keep them engaged.”

Although this grant is only available to employers in England, each of the Devolved Nations offers different incentive programmes to encourage apprenticeships.  

For more information call Carmen Daley on 07496 370 224 or email carmen@bmfapprenticeshipsplus.co.uk
 
£3k cash bonus to boost merchant apprenticeships
BMF Apprenticeships Plus is urging BMF members in England to take advantage of the Government’s temporary boost to apprenticeship funding, with incentive grants for employers increasing to £3,000 for apprentices of any age.

BMF MASTERMERCHANT IS BACK!


19 March 2021

BMF MasterMerchant is back!The BMF has confirmed that the 2021 BMF MasterMerchant competition will take place with the support of a new headline sponsor, Natural Cement. After a year off due to Covid-19, this year’s competition will be held in Ambleside in the Lake District from 9-11 July.  

Open to all BMF Members – merchants, suppliers, distributors and service members – MasterMerchant is a fun but demanding team competition involving a series of mental and physical problem-solving challenges designed to test each team’s creativity, communication and leadership skills. 

17 teams have already signed up to take part and pit their wits and stamina against defending champions, Chandlers Building Supplies “Merchants of Menace”. The event organisers can accommodate a maximum of 20 teams (each comprising 4 people), so there is still time to enter.  

Jack Edwards, Sales Manager of headline sponsor, Natural Cement said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this year’s BMF MasterMerchant event. The sponsorship is a great opportunity for Natural Cement to raise our profile and show support to our industry and fellow members. Our team are also looking forward to the challenge of competing!”

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This fantastic teambuilding event has been taking place since the 1980s. Its longevity is testament to the great way it can help people to get to know each other better and work together as a team. I’m delighted that it is returning again this year, and would like to thank our new sponsor, Natural Cement as well as Stephen Lee Associates, the management development company who devise the challenges and run the weekend’s events on our behalf.”

For more information, and to book your team’s place, visit the events section at www.bmf.org.uk/events
 
BMF MasterMerchant is back!
The BMF has confirmed that the 2021 BMF MasterMerchant competition will take place with the support of a new headline sponsor, Natural Cement. After a year off due to Covid-19, this year’s competition will be held in Ambleside in the Lake District fr

BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit Strategy


17 March 2021

BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit StrategyThe BMF, which has been campaigning in support of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) National Retrofit Strategy expressed its delight that the consultation document has received widespread endorsement.

50 organisations including representatives of the energy and water sectors are backing the CLC National Retrofit Strategy which sets out a twenty-year blueprint to transform the nation’s housing stock to make it greener and more energy efficient. 

Britain’s 28 million homes contribute 20% of the country’s carbon emissions so unless these are retrofitted to make them more energy efficient we won’t achieve a zero carbon economy by 2050. The CLC National Retrofit Strategy is structured into four phases and calls on the Government to invest an initial £5.3bn over the next four years to help kickstart the retrofit market. The benefits of this investment would lead an additional 100,000 new jobs; a saving to the NHS of £1.4bn; and a reduction in householders’ energy bills by as much as £436. 

Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair of the CLC Task Force, said: 

“Given our homes contribute 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions it is essential that we start to retrofit them to make them more energy efficient. With widespread industry support the CLC is calling on the Government to adopt the National Retrofit Strategy to make our homes greener. Our strategy has been fully costed and offers a roadmap about how the Government can create a low carbon built environment by 2040.” 

John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, and one of the 16 members of the CLC Domestic RMI Working Group who compiled the National Retrofit Strategy, said:

“It is extremely encouraging that the wider construction industry, water and energy sectors all agree the need for a Government-backed National Retrofit Strategy.  We cannot achieve a zero carbon economy by 2050 if we don’t address the energy efficiency of our existing homes, which make up the vast majority of the UK’s housing stock. This strategy is a ready-made solution for a Government that is putting such high emphasis on the success of the COP26 Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November.”
 
BMF applauds widespread endorsement of National Retrofit Strategy
The BMF, which has been campaigning in support of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) National Retrofit Strategy expressed its delight that the consultation document has received widespread endorsement.

European Builders Merchants Conference postponed until April 2022


15 March 2021

European Builders Merchants Conference postponed until April 2022The UFEMAT Congress scheduled to take place in London from 14-17 October 2021 has been postponed for six months due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. The conference, which brings together builders merchants, building material suppliers and trade bodies from across Europe, will now be held from 28-30 April 2022.

The decision was taken by UFEMAT Secretary General, Marnix Van Hoe and UFEMAT’s current President, John Newcomb, the Chief Executive Officer of the BMF which is hosting the event.  

Making the announcement, John Newcomb said: 

“With so much uncertainty surrounding restrictions on travel, hospitality and meeting numbers across Europe, it would have been impractical for the UFEMAT Congress to go ahead in October this year. The safety of those attending the event must be our main priority and for this reason we are postponing until Spring 2022, by which time ‘normality’ should have returned.  

“We are extremely proud that the UK will host the first post-pandemic Congress. We are looking forward to welcoming our European colleagues to London, and working with a fantastic event management company, Incentivise, to ensure that it is one of the best events that UFEMAT has ever staged.” 

Marnix Van Hoe added: “We are very sorry that our 62nd UFEMAT Congress has suffered a further postponement, but I am sure that everyone understands the reasons for this decision. However, the enforced delay will make our meeting all the more special, with a programme designed to help drive our industry forward into a new digital age.”  

All existing bookings and sponsorships will be carried forward to the new date in April 2022.

Details of the Congress Programme are attached and further information can be obtained from June Upton (June.upton@bmf.org.uk) or Marianne de Vroome (marianne.devroome@fema.be).
 
European Builders Merchants Conference postponed until April 2022
The UFEMAT Congress scheduled to take place in London from 14-17 October 2021 has been postponed for six months due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

CLC sector-wide skills plan will benefit broader industry says BMF


11 March 2021

CLC sector-wide skills plan will benefit broader industry says BMFThe Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published the first sector-wide skills plan for construction, developed by Industry.

The Industry Skills Plan for the UK Construction Sector 2021-25, which sets out the key skills challenges facing construction and how they will be tackled, has been welcomed by the BMF.

Traditionally there has been a narrow definition of the construction industry, limited to those who construct, repair and maintain buildings.  Behind this sector-wide plan is the belief that the industry should increasingly be viewed in terms of a broader definition, to include the supply chain for construction materials, products and assemblies, and professional services such as management architecture, engineering and surveying, as the current and future fortunes of all these activities are critically intertwined.

The CLC plan sets out a series of clear actions and commitments for both industry and Government to help meet these challenges, grouped under the following four areas: Careers; Standards and Qualifications; Training, Education and Development; and Culture and Working Environment. 

Commitments include:
- Creating Talent View, a one-stop-shop portal for new entrants
- Recruiting 7,000 construction STEM Ambassadors
- Developing an industry standard for work experience
- Producing competence frameworks
- New training standards for Net Zero and Smart Construction
- A pledge to promote direct employment.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “This is a plan for the broader construction industry, encompassing a total workforce of over 3.5million people. It can only benefit the whole industry to work together with Government and education bodies to develop appropriate pathways from schools, further education, higher education, as well as for adults changing careers, into every aspect of construction.”

Copies of Industry Skills Plan for the UK Construction Sector 2021-25 are available at https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/B06322_CLC_SkillsPlan_v27.pdf. Details of how to get involved in these commitments will follow in the coming weeks.
 
CLC sector-wide skills plan will benefit broader industry says BMF
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published the first sector-wide skills plan for construction, developed by Industry.

BMF backs CLC’s CO2nstruct Zero industry change programme


9 March 2021

The BMF is supporting CO2nstruct Zero, the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) response to the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, published in November 2020, which set out a path to Net Zero by 2050. 

CO2nstruct Zero is the CLC’s cross industry change programme to drive carbon out of all parts of the construction supply chain by 2050. From manufacturing and design to construction and operation of assets, the programme sets out how the industry can together meet the Net Zero challenge. It uses the Climate Change Committee’s 6th Carbon budget to establish the priorities that frame the action plan and how we will collectively measure and hold ourselves to account.

The BMF has announced the launch of its own Sustainability Forum to raise awareness amongst members and will be supporting the CO2nstruct Zero message at three milestone events this year – the BMF Members’ Day Conference in September, where there will be a dedicated section on the drive to net zero; the BMF Parliamentary Reception in October, with the headline theme, Building a Sustainable Britain; and at the BMF All Industry Conference in November, where one of four themed workshops will be devoted to sustainability.  

BMF members will be encouraged to become Business Champions sharing their approach to delivering on the nine priority areas encompassed within CO2nstruct Zero. The priority areas include:

- Accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles

- Working with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock

- Scaling up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks

- Supporting the development of innovative low carbon materials (in particular concrete and steel) as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing processes and distribution

- Maximising use of modern methods of construction and improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “Over the past 12 months the construction industry demonstrated what can be achieved when it combined its effort as a single force to tackle Covid-19. In the lead up to the COP26 Climate Change Conference in November, the industry has another great opportunity to work together and make real progress in the Race for Zero. As manufacturers and merchants, BMF members are in the vanguard of the supply chain and have a vital role to play in championing and delivering the changes necessary for success.”
 
The BMF is supporting CO2nstruct Zero, the CLC's response to the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, published in November 2020, which set out a path to Net Zero by 2050.

David Domoney to host BMF Young Merchants Conference


5 March 2021

David Domoney to host BMF Young Merchants ConferenceThe BMF has announced that David Domoney, TV presenter and award-winning horticulturist, will host the BMF Young Merchants Conference on 6 October 2021 at the NEC, Birmingham. 

David has won an outstanding 30 Royal Horticultural Society Medals including Chelsea Gold awards and is regularly seen on TV sharing his expertise.  For the past decade he has presented alongside Alan Titchmarsh on Love Your Garden, and also presents with Alan on the Love Your Weekend television series. He is the resident gardener on This Morning and the gardening expert on James Martin’s Sunday Morning show. 

As a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, David is passionate about encouraging the work of the next generation and is involved with several colleges of horticulture.  He is also Garden Champion for the mental health charity SANE, an ambassador for Thrive, a charity that uses therapeutic horticulture to improve the lives of those living with disability, and founder of the British campaign Cultivation Street, supporting community gardens for better health.

In 2018, he was selected by HRH Prince Edward to receive the Award of Excellence in Horticulture in recognition of his many achievements.   

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “David’s support for the next generation is clear to see.  His relaxed hosting style won plaudits at the BMF Members Conference and Awards in 2019 and we look forward to welcoming him back to our flagship Young Merchants event in October. I would also like to thank Pavestone for sponsoring his appearance.” 

The BMF Young Merchants Conference takes the theme “Building the Next Generation” and is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse.  

Registration of the BMF Young Merchants Conference is now open at www.bmf.org.uk/events . For full details and sponsorship opportunities, please contact June.upton@bmf.org.uk
 
David Domoney to host BMF Young Merchants Conference
The BMF has announced that David Domoney, TV presenter and award-winning horticulturist, will host the BMF Young Merchants Conference on 6 October 2021 at the NEC, Birmingham.

New BMF Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index confirms 2020 second half recovery


3 March 2021

PHMI Q4 2020 NewsThe BMF in partnership with MRA Research and GfK has launched a new statistical report focused exclusively on the plumbing and heating market.   The new Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index sets the gold standard in reliable market trends.

The first edition of the Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index (PHMI) analyses sales values through plumbing and heating outlets in Q4 2020, and provides an overview for the full year. 

Sales in Q4 2020 continued the bounce back from the low point in Q2. A direct comparison of Q4 sales in 2020 and 2019 found sales were down by just -0.4%, with one more trading day this year. 

Looking back, the impact of the first lockdown on 2020 Q2 results had seen year on year sales fall by -46.3% compared with Q2 2019. However, the start of the recovery was apparent in Q3 2020, where sales were down by -5.3% on the same period the previous year.

Highlighting the bounce back in the second half of the year, P&H sales in the final quarter of 2020 were +11.9% higher than Q3 2020.  However, with Q4 having five fewer trading days, average sales a day (which take trading days into account) were up +21.3%. 

Cumulative year-to-date sales turned negative in March 2020, and fell sharply in both April (-17.8%) and May (-24.5%). Since then, sales have steadily improved, finishing down -13.2% on 2019 by the year end. 
PHMI trend data is indexed on the 12 months of 2019. The fourth quarter PHMI index (based on 2019 sales) was 103.4, making it the first quarter to exceed 100 in 2020. 
The ground-breaking research report is the first to analyse point of sales tracking data collated from a range of specialist plumbing and heating merchants with combined annual sales of £3bn, representing 75-80% of the total sales value of this market.  

Commenting on the launch, BMF CEO John Newcomb said: 

“Plumbing & Heating is an important segment within the overall building materials market, with an annual value of around £5.4bn.  While P&H sales through generalist merchants are reported in our established Builders Merchant Building Index, the majority of transactions are through specialist P&H merchants which have not previously been reported. The new Plumbing & Heating Index rectifies this and will deliver a far more accurate picture of sales activity in this segment.”

Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:

“With the crisis still in full swing and the roadmap to the end of lockdown recently announced, the launch of the Plumbing & Heating Index comes at an appropriate time. This will enhance visibility and shed light on an important part of the Trade sector which up until now has not been possible.”

The data for the PHMI is taken solely from P&H specialists, including City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, James Hargreaves Plumbing Deport, PTS and Wolseley, who form part of GfK’s Plumbing & Heating Merchants Panel, and there is no overlap or double counting between the PHMI and the BMF’s established Builders Merchants Building Index which analyses sales at generalist merchants.
 
PHMI Q4 2020 News
The BMF in partnership with MRA Research and GfK has launched a new statistical report focused exclusively on the plumbing and heating market. The new Plumbing & Heating Merchant Index sets the gold standard in reliable market trends.

BMF Responds to Budget Statement


3 March 2021

BMF Responds to Budget StatementCommenting on today’s Budget Statement, John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said:

“The Chancellor largely struck the right notes in announcing continued support for business as we move through the final stages of the coronavirus roadmap and plan for recovery.  

“We were particularly pleased that the Chancellor sought to support smaller businesses by recognising the need for continued furlough support and business rates discounts, which will help our SME members as they return to pre-covid levels of operation.  Similar extensions to self-employment grants will help small builders and other trades who form the main merchant customer base and ensure they are still in business to service the needs of homeowners helped by the new government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme and the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday.

“We also welcome the announcement of a new UK Infrastructure Bank which was a key ask of our Construction Leadership Council colleagues, and noted the reference to investment by construction firms in the Chancellor’s announcement of his Super Deduction tax initiative.  Clearly, he is looking to the construction industry to help drive economic recovery.

“However, while the Chancellor spoke of the Government’s commitment to Green Growth, we were disappointed that this announcement did not include support for a National Retrofit Strategy.  This would not only upgrade the country’s housing stock to the highest levels of energy efficiency, but would also provide a platform to upskill the building trade with skills required both to retrofit existing homes and build low carbon new homes, helping to achieve the Government’s Net Zero ambition.”
 
BMF Responds to Budget Statement
Commenting on today’s Budget Statement, John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation said: " The Chancellor largely struck the right notes...

BMF All Industry Conference moves to November date


1 March 2021

BMF All Industry Conference moves to November dateWith national lockdown restrictions scheduled to be lifted on 21 June, the BMF has confirmed a change of date for the 2021 BMF All Industry Conference, which will now be held from 4-7 November 2021.

The Conference venues in Harrogate and York remain the same and the full programme will be confirmed as soon as possible. 
 
The November event is set to go with a bang.  As the Conference now falls on 5 November it is only fitting that it will take place in York, the birthplace of Guy Fawkes whose gunpowder, treason and plot made an explosive contribution to our national history.

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “The safety and wellbeing of conference delegates has always been our priority and we cannot run the BMF All Industry Conference on the original dates in June.   Although this is traditionally a summer conference, we were determined to hold the 2021 event later in the year and have taken other major industry events into account in planning the new date.”

The headline sponsor of the BMF All Industry Conference 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.
 
BMF All Industry Conference moves to November date
With national lockdown restrictions scheduled to be lifted on 21 June, the BMF has confirmed a change of date for the 2021 BMF All Industry Conference, which will now be held from 4-7 November 2021.

Builders merchants sales continue positive trend in Q4 2020


25 February 2021

Builders merchants sales continue positive trend in Q4 2020Figures for the final quarter of 2020 published today (25 February 2021) in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) confirm the sector’s continued bounce back from the April lockdown which led to a dramatic decline in sales during Q2.  

The BMBI had previously reported a strong performance in Q3 with sales returning to near normal levels.  The positive trend continued in Q4 2020, with total builders’ merchants’ sales growth of +5.4% compared with Q4 2019, helped by one more trading day this year.  

The Q4 year-on-year increase was driven by strong performances in Landscaping (+22.9%), Timber & Joinery (+12.7%) and Heavy Building Materials (+4.3%).  Sales value growth in Timber & Joinery was predominantly driven by Timber, with the well documented stock shortages a key driver.  No other product category sold more in Q4 2020 than Q4 2019, with Plumbing, Heating and Electrical (-6.0%) the lowest performer.

There is normally a seasonal sales decline in Q4 and 2020 was no exception.  With five fewer trading days in Q4, total builders’ merchants’ sales were down by -10.8% compared to Q3 2020.  The average sales a day figure for Q4 (-3.4%) was also down on Q3.

Taking 2020 as a whole, total sales value was down by -10.7% on 2019.  Given the public’s focus on their gardens during the first lockdown, it is no surprise that Landscaping was the only category to show an annual increase in sales value (+5.4%), with Workwear and Safetywear (-0.1%) the next best performer.  The weakest annual results were found in the more lightside oriented categories with Tools (-20.2%), Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (-19.1%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (-18.1%) and Decorating (-16.5%).

Commenting on the Q4 sales data, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said:

“Given widespread site closures both at the start of the pandemic and for extended Christmas shut down periods, the continued year-on year growth seen in the final quarter of 2020 provides a positive indicator of the building industry’s recovery.  No doubt the Covid effect, including its impact on product availability, will be felt for some time to come. But the adaptability to enforced changes demonstrated by merchants and their trade customers over the past 12 months gives me a cautious degree of optimism for the coming year.”

Emile van der Ryst, Senior Client Insight Manager – Trade at GfK added:

“A final review of this year highlights just how well the sector has bounced back. During Q2 the economic outlook for the remainder of 2020 seemed perilous, but a combination of RMI activity plus relaxed restrictions in Q3, followed by Brexit uncertainty combined with anticipated stock shortages in Q4 turned the ship.  Taking all the above into consideration the final annual result of a -10.7% value declines seems a lot more palatable. 2021 now provides a realistic hope of a return to normality and an expected economic upswing.”
 
Builders merchants sales continue positive trend in Q4 2020
Figures for the final quarter of 2020 published 25 February 2021 in the BMF’s BMBI confirm the sector’s continued bounce back from the April lockdown which led to a dramatic decline in sales during Q2.

RACHEL FRYERS APPOINTED BMF BOARD ADVISOR


08 February 2021

Rachel Fryers appointed BMF Board AdvisorThe BMF has appointed Rachel Fryers, Director of Merritt & Fryers in Skipton, as a Board Advisor with effect from 1 April 2021.

Before taking her position in the family firm, Rachel spent almost 20 years as a landscape architect, gaining a breadth of experience within large multidisciplinary infrastructure and construction teams, delivering a wide range of projects from new towns to schools, hospitals and prisons.

Since her return, she has overseen the expansion of the award-winning business. Rachel is motivated by a desire to see the industry embrace environmentally sustainable practices. She is also a champion of workplace training and education. As a director of one of the smaller independent merchants, she is well placed to support their development within the supply chain.

In addition to its board of directors, the BMF may appoint up to two non-voting advisors to strengthen the advice available to it on merchant, supplier or regional issues.  

Richard Hill, BMF Chairman said: “We are delighted to welcome Rachel as a Board Advisor.  She brings a wealth of valuable experience from the independent merchant sector that will help inform BMF activities as the construction industry steps up to help rebuild the post-Covid economy.” 
 
Rachel Fryers appointed BMF Board Advisor
The BMF has appointed Rachel Fryers, Director of Merritt & Fryers in Skipton, as a Board Advisor with effect from 1 April 2021.

BMF members urged to support NHS workers


2 February 2021

BMF members urged to support NHS workersThe BMF is urging members to support NHS workers in any way that can they can during the pandemic.

Many businesses have developed special offers and discounts especially for NHS staff during this critical time and the BMF is co-ordinating a collective programme for health workers 

BMF CEO, John Newcomb said: “A recent CBI webinar highlighted that helping to maintain the health and wellbeing of NHS workers is crucial to the current national effort and an important way that businesses can contribute.  There will undoubtedly be times when health workers need to make urgent repairs to their homes during this crisis.  We are seeking to help through the development of a collective discount programme for NHS workers.”

BMF members who would like to be involved in this scheme, should email hannah.taylor@bmf.org.uk in the first instance.

The BMF is also encouraging members with more than 50 employees to take part in the Government’s asymptomatic workplace testing programme, which has been extended to include anyone working in the construction industry. In England, free lateral flow tests and full training is now available for builders’ merchants with over 50 employees. Full details at www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests
 
The BMF is urging members to support NHS workers in any way that can they can during the pandemic.

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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