BMF News

A positive start to 2019

21 March 2019

BMBI January 2019 highlightsTotal Builders Merchant value sales were up 5.0% in January compared with January 2018. Four categories did better, including the two biggest: Timber & Joinery Products (+6.2%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.1%). Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+2.8%) and Decorating (+2.7%) were among five categories that grew more slowly and Workwear & Safetywear (-4.9%) was one of three that sold less.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI represents over 80% of the value of the builders' merchants' market.

Visit www.bmbi.co.uk/the-index to see the full January 2019 report. Read trends, analysis and industry issues from our panel of construction industry experts.

Source: GfK Builders' Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data July 2014 - January 2019.



Download the report



Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI)
Email: info@bmbi.co.uk
Website: www.bmbi.co.uk
Twitter: @TheBMBI
Telephone: 01453 521621  
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 5.0% in January compared with January 2018. 4 categories did better, including the two biggest: Timber & Joinery Products (+6.2%) and Heavy Building Materials (+6.1%).

Natural Cement Distribution has joined the BMF


18 March 2019


Natural Cement are delighted to have become supplier members of the BMF.

The company manufactures a range of mortars and grouts based on a unique natural binder which has been in use for over 200 years. The products are used for Concrete Repairs, Waterproofing, Damp Proofing, Screeding and Grouting in the Construction, Rail, Civil Engineering and Utilities industries throughout the UK.

On joining the BMF – Jack Edwards, Sales Manager at Natural Cement commented, ‘’We are really pleased to have been allowed to join the Builders Merchant Federation, our company has supplied materials through several builders merchants for many years and this will hopefully enable us to work more closely with the members in the future and build new relationships within the industry.’’

Natural Cement products are based on a Natural Cement binder, not OPC, they contain no chemical additives, are environmentally friendly, chemically resistant and have proven to be great time savers due to their rapid strength gain and short curing times. The products are suitable for a wide range of applications which can save on valuable warehouse storage space; they also do not have a limited shelf life which means no stock is ever wasted.

For more information please call 01226 381133, email enquiries@naturalcement.co.uk or go to www.naturalcement.co.uk.
Natural Cement are delighted to have become supplier members of the BMF.

Chancellor's Spring Statement: BMF Statement


15 March 2019


If the Government is serious in wanting to cut carbon emissions from homes, they ought to talk to the BMF - because it is BMF members who make and deliver the majority of materials and products used to de-carbonise today’s housing.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, gave the BMF’s reaction to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement that a new Future Homes Standard will be introduced to end fossil-fuel heating in new homes by 2025.

In his Spring Statement to Parliament, Mr Hammond confirmed the Government’s intention to adopt recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change last month.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “Investing in homes to fit energy-efficient and water-saving measures is central to our members’ businesses. They distribute, on a daily basis, the insulation, heating AND hot water systems, thermostatic controls, underfloor heating and heat pumps on which Whitehall has sought advice from industry about over the last ten years”.

In its report, the Committee on Climate Change said no new homes should be connected to the gas grid from 2025 at the latest. Homes should be heated using low-carbon energy sources (like heat pumps) and have ultra-high levels of energy efficiency.

Mark Bradley, Managing Director of Plumbase, and BMF Plumbing and Heating Forum Chairman, said, “We look forward to the consultation in due course and the BMF will give industry input. Yesterday’s news does not spell the end of gas boilers. Technological advances in green fuels has led to a higher proportion of home heating using biomethane or hydrogen. And if heat pumps are the preferred option, our job as merchants is to explain to politicians how our supply chain works to help to meet future low-carbon objectives”.

The BMF strongly supports the “Fabric First” concept and wants a more coherent, long-term framework that combines better insulation, efficient boilers and low-carbon micro-generation.
If Government is serious in cutting carbon emissions,they ought to talk to the BMF - its members make and deliver the products used to de-carbonise housing.

BMF opens South West Regional Centre of Excellence at ADEY


13 March 2019


The BMF has launched a Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of ADEY, global water treatment and magnetic filtration manufacturer.

As a BMF Regional Centre of Excellence, ADEY’s state-of-the-art Training and Conference Centre, based at its headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire will make training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members in the South West.

ADEY is an industry-leading pioneer, having brought magnetic filtration technology to the market 15 years ago, its MagnaClean filters are now protecting heating systems in more than five million UK homes. The company also now trades in more than 30 countries including China, USA, Australia, New Zealand and across Europe. 

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This is a fantastic centre that has been used before by BMF members, and we are extremely grateful that they are officially opening it to our members now. We look forward to holding more South West meetings here, along with our own training courses for members in the region.

John Vaughan, ADEY’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “In becoming a regional hub for members, we’re helping the BMF to provide tangible support to others in the industry, ensuring those in the area can benefit from attending regular forums and training courses. We’re really pleased to be part of this BMF initiative and look forward to welcoming its members to ADEY.”

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence across the UK and Ireland please visit www.bmf.org.uk/membership and for more information about ADEY visit www.adey.com
The BMF has launched a Regional Centre of Excellence with the support of ADEY, global water treatment and magnetic filtration manufacturer.

Debate and discussion at BMF All-Industry Conference

12 March 2019


BMF 2019 Conference Forum speakersDelegates at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June will have a choice of four interactive industry workshops to attend as part of the Saturday morning programme, each offering a thought-provoking platform for group discussions. 

The format is based on the specialist BMF Industry Forums which are growing in both number and popularity.  There are now more than 15 such Forums meeting on a regular basis serving various sector and functional interest groups within the building materials industry.

Delegates will be able to attend up to two of the following special interest workshops at the BMF All-Industry Conference.

Marketing Forum

Mark Mallinder, Marketing Director of EH Smith is the guest speaker at this workshop, setting the scene before a Q&A session that is certain to consider the impact of Brexit on business development and marketing strategies. The session is chaired by Lucia Di Stazio, MD of MRA Marketing, the sponsors of this forum.

Plumbing & Heating Forum

P&H is the longest standing of the BMF Forums and one of the most well-supported.  The guest speakers for this special Conference session are Andrew Harrison, CEO of Travis Perkin’s Plumbing Division and Jonathan Collier, MD of Monument Tools, who are sponsoring this workshop.  The session will be chaired by Mark Bradley, MD of Plumbase.

HR/Mental Health Forum

Award-winning mental health campaigners, Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE, will follow up their presentation on the main stage on Day One of the Conference by starting proceedings at this important workshop.  They will be joined by Brian Dow, MD of Mental Health UK and Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness.  This workshop is sponsored by Isover Saint-Gobain.

Young Merchants Forum

The BMF Young Merchant Group supports and encourages those progressing in their careers.  Setting an inspirational tone for this workshop is Oli France, an adventurer and professional expedition leader who has led teams through some of the world’s most dangerous and least visited countries.  This session is jointly chaired by MKM’s Glenn Paddison, the current chair of BMF Young Merchant Group, and John Ryszkowski, Divisional MD of ACO, who are sponsoring this workshop.

The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by the Crystal Clear Group, takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details on the Forums can be found are on the Conference website

​Delegates at the BMF All-Industry Conference in Dubrovnik in June will have a choice of four interactive industry workshops to attend as part of the Saturday morning programme, each offering a thought-provoking platform for group discussions. ​ ​

Spring statement: BMF lobbies the chancellor 


12 March 2019


The BMF has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ahead of his Spring Statement to Parliament to lobby for more flexibility in the rules governing the Apprenticeship Levy.

In its letter, the BMF urged Mr Hammond to use his Spring Statement to prepare for life after Brexit - and counteract predicted falls in employment levels and regional productivity.

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said, “Last week was National Apprenticeship Week. The BMF has been involved in the Apprenticeship Levy since his predecessor George Osborne announced it in his July 2015 Budget. As a direct consequence, we have established our own Apprenticeship Training Agency to make it easier for our SME members to take on new apprentices. Nearly 250 young men and women have begun - or will soon begin - a BMF Apprenticeship. However, employers struggle with the complexities of the scheme and we are asking the Chancellor for improvements”.

Mr Newcomb’s letter:
- asks how unspent Levy contributions will be used. There is a considerable sum of Levy money untouched by merchants and manufacturers obliged to pay it. The BMF wants ministers to reallocate this to businesses to enable them to hire more apprentices through the BMF’s Apprenticeship Training Agency
- reiterates that young learners often find it difficult to afford travel costs. It is not uncommon for apprentices to spend more than half their wages on travel. The worry is they pick an apprenticeship they can get to cheaply that may not be the correct choice for them. The BMF wants ministers to apply more flexibility to ease travel costs.
The BMF has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ahead of his Spring Statement to lobby for flexibility in the rules governing the Apprenticeship Levy.

Why do an apprenticeship?  

During National Apprenticeship Week, Carmen Daley of BMF’s Apprenticeships Training Agency explores the merits of undertaking an apprenticeship  
5 March 2019

Carmen DaleyTwo weeks after I passed my driving test, I found myself standing on the driveway, explaining to my father how I’d managed to not only drive into the back of someone earlier that day, but I’d also just ran into his garage wall. Dad maintains the first thing he did was calmly explain that you don’t really learn until you are ‘doing the do’ and this was all part of the learning experience. Trust me – it was far from the first thing he said but once his blood pressure returned to normal, he did indeed say it.  

I often think of this when asked ‘why do an apprenticeship?’. My wonderful (and very patient!) driving instructor gave me the tools and techniques to drive, but it was only when I was actually driving day in and day out, that I truly learnt to apply them. It was a similar experience entering the workplace after three years of University.  

One of the many benefits of an apprenticeship is that the training you receive is not only relevant to your exact role and industry, but it is also put into practice immediately. No waiting to pass a test or graduate or find a job, you simply learn and apply in real time. A sure-fire way to get you on the right path within your chosen career.    

The other bonus is that, unlike driving lessons or University, you don’t have to pay for your training nor complete it in your own time. The Apprenticeships format was designed specifically to be accessible to all and to achieve this, study time is protected within work hours, and financial barriers are removed. No late-night study sessions or tens of thousands of pounds of student debt here!  

Often when I explain to people that there is a way to learn whilst being paid, and without incurring huge debts, they believe that there are only entry level apprenticeship qualifications available. Absolutely not true. Apprenticeships now go all the way to Level 7. Chartered Accountant, HGV Driver, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Chartered Manager, Team Leader, Digital Marketer, Health and Safety Technician, are just few of apprenticeships out there.  

Builders' merchants are a hidden gem for Apprenticeship opportunities. Often overlooked, they offer an array of career pathways including those listed above. The very nature of the industry means that those working within it need to be at the forefront of exceptional customer service. As well as the formal apprenticeship training, Builders Merchants also invest heavily in additional training of their apprentices in the form of online learning, short courses and supplier training, all of which run alongside the formal apprenticeship.  

During National Apprenticeship Week, I urge all of you who are seeking a solid career pathway with significant opportunities, to consider an apprenticeship with one of the many members of the BMF. If ever you needed proof that “doing the do” works, this formally dodgy driver now oversees the BMF Apprentice Driver Program.  


Find out more about setting up apprenticeships with the BMF's Apprenticeships Plus service here
To find out more about careers in the industry click here
During National Apprenticeship Week, Carmen Daley of BMF’s Apprenticeships Training Agency explores the merits of undertaking an apprenticeship.

BMF launches ISM accredited sales management training  

28 February 2019

BMF Sales Management TrainingThe BMF has introduced a new sales talent development programme, accredited by the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), to support individuals looking to successfully develop and manage a portfolio of customers.    

Designed for small groups of between six and eight delegates and delivered over twelve months, Essential Sales Management instils sales management techniques and strategies to increase sales growth and brand awareness in a competitive market.  It is aimed at new and aspiring sales executives as well as those who have moved into sales with extensive product knowledge but limited formal sales training who now require a sales toolkit to grow their customer portfolio.  

The programme has been devised and will be delivered by Sue Reed and her team of associates who are all experienced sales trainers in the merchant sector.  Sue, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management, tutors a number of other BMF training courses and this programme is equally relevant for BMF merchant and supplier members.  

The eleven-day programme is delivered over three, three-day workshops following a one-day induction and concluding with a final one-day Business Improvement – Profitable Portfolio presentation at the end.  Delegates also receive ongoing support from a dedicated talent development coach and mentor who undertakes regular telephone calls, reviews and provides feedback reports.  

Based on their final presentation, successful candidates will be awarded Executive Institute of Sales Management status, with their first year’s fees paid.  

BMF Membership Services Director, Richard Ellithorne said: “We were keen to introduce a sales training programme to help members develop the next generation of sales professionals and Sue Reed’s team are far and away the best people to do this. The programme ranges from immediately usable sales strategies, life-long business skills and customer relationship management, all encapsulated by the team’s 70/20/10 model for learning and development.  Their passion and expertise will undoubtedly inspire everyone who undertakes the course.”  

The Essential Sales Management programme is designed for small groups. BMF members may book the course as an in-house programme, or individual delegates can join an open course at one of the BMF’s regional centres.

To find out more click here or contact BMF Training Coordinator, Paige Godsell on 02476 854989, or email paige.godsell@bmf.org.uk
The BMF has introduced a new sales talent development programme, accredited by the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), to support individuals looking to successfully develop and manage a portfolio of customers

Flamco has joined the BMF

27 February 2019


Flamco

Flamco UK has joined the BMF (the only UK and Ireland organisation that represents and protects the interests of merchants and suppliers in the building materials supply industry).  

Flamco manufactures and distributes system components for heating, cooling and potable water installations. Its best known in the UK for its range of expansion vessels, its accessories for heating and cooling installations, such as its popular Prescor Safety relief valves, it’s Flexvent automatic air vents and T-plus units designed to provide perfect system branches in pipework without needing to drain systems. Most recently it is becoming known for its revolutionary new water treatment system – RedProtect - that includes a system filter and cleaning and inhibitor chemicals which are in a solid format rather than the usual liquid or gel.  

“As we grow and diversify in the UK and Ireland heating and plumbing sector, it makes huge sense for us to become members of relevant trade and industry bodies,” said Flamco Sales Director John Lynch. “We are becoming an established business in the sector now and we sell our products through national and regional builders and plumbers’ merchants and buying groups, most of whom are members of the BMF. We’re looking forward to a long and happy relationship with the BMF in the months and years ahead.”  

BMF CEO John Newcomb says: “We are delighted that Flamco has joined the BMF and appreciates the value and opportunities available as part of a strong trade body. I am looking forward to working with Flamco and assisting their growing team.”


For more information about Flamco click here or visit https://flamcogroup.com/uk-en




Flamco UK has joined the BMF. Flamco manufactures and distributes system components for heating, cooling and potable water installations.

BMF opens Regional Centre of Excellence at SIG plc


Mark Clark (SIG) left and John Newcomb (BMF)The BMF has just launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at SIG in Sheffield.  

The BMF’s growing network of BMF Regional Centres of Excellence means training courses and regional meetings are now far more accessible to BMF members around the UK and Ireland. The latest centre, based in SIG’s purpose-built Sheffield premises, will serve BMF members in the Yorkshire region.  

Opened in 2018, SIG’s brand new 20,000 sq ft, three-storey head office is home to over 200 employees. Open plan, with an on-site restaurant at the heart of the building, the new office was designed to improve communications and increase collaborative working. With top-of-the-range technology in place throughout, colleagues are able to work from any of the meeting rooms, breakout spaces and even the restaurant – making it a perfect fit as a BMF Regional Centre of Excellence.  

Mark Clark, Director of National Accounts at SIG said “We are delighted to become a BMF Regional Centre of Excellence, we are working hard with our Merchant customers and this reinforces our commitment to this sector. We look forward to welcoming members of the BMF and our customers through our doors over the coming months.”  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO, said: “This is a superb centre that is well used by SIG’s customers and we are extremely grateful that they are opening it to our members too. We look forward to holding further Yorkshire meetings here, along with our own training courses for members in the region.”  


For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the UK and Ireland please click here and for more information about SIG Distribution visit http://uk.siggroup.com.

The BMF has just launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at SIG in Sheffield. Opened in 2018, SIG’s brand new 20,000 sq ft, three-storey head office is home to over 200 employees.

Sales growth slows at UK Builders Merchants  


BMBI21 February 2019

Sales figures for the final quarter of 2018 published today in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show the first signs of a negative Brexit effect.  

While Total Builders Merchants sales in Q4 2018 were a respectable 3.1% higher than in Q4 2017 on closer inspection the results are less encouraging. The quarter started well, with October 2018 sales values up 6.8% year-on-year. However, November grew by 0.8% and December sales were just 1.0% higher than December 2017. Factor in inflation and volumes will have been lower.  

In terms of sales value, Timber & Joinery Products had the strongest fourth quarter, finishing 6.1% ahead of Q4 2017. Landscaping (+5.2%), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+4.4%) and Decorating (+4.1%) also delivered above the average. Seven categories under performed the total sales average, including Heavy Building Materials, by far the largest category, (+1.9%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (-0.9%).  

Quarter 4 sales are generally lower than Quarter 3 and Total Builders Merchants average daily sales were down at -4.9%.  Only two categories strongly bucked the trend, with Workwear & Safetywear up 17.7% and Plumbing Heating & Electrical 16.6% higher. 

Year on year, 2018 total merchant sales finished 3.8% ahead of 2017 (down from the previous year on year rise of 6.3%).  Four categories did better than average, led by Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.1%), with Timber & Joinery Products (+7.0%) just behind. Six categories grew more slowly, once again including the largest category Heavy Building Materials which recorded 2.5% increase.  

Commenting on the latest figures, John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The year ended on a subdued note for builders’ merchants’ sales.  As the deadline for the UK to leave the EU draws ever closer, the uncertainty that surrounds the terms of our departure – in particular, the terms relating to how the UK will trade with Europe post-Brexit – is not helping our sector. In our current state of limbo, it is no surprise that both businesses and home-owners are deferring investment decisions.  But until the Brexit riddle is solved, no-one can begin to predict what will happen next.”

For more information about BMBI visit www.bmbi.co.uk
Sales figures for the final quarter of 2018 published today in the BMF’s Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) show the first signs of a negative Brexit effect.

Heappey praises Glastonbury’s historic builders’ merchant    


21 February 2019

L-R: James Heappey MP, Brett Amphlett (BMF), Jason Cooper (Bradfords’ Branch Manager), Paul Malloy (Bradfords’ Marketing Manager), David Young (Bradfords’ MD)How the building materials supply chain has evolved over two centuries - and is responding to today’s low carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by James Heappey MP.  

The MP for Wells visited the Glastonbury branch of Bradfords Building Supplies, the country’s oldest builders’ merchant, to learn how the company helps constituents with greener living.  

Mr Heappey was welcomed by David Young, Bradford’s Managing Director, when he visited the 249-year old business to see the range of materials and products available to customers in Bradfords’ network of 42 branches throughout Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

Building more homes and improving existing properties to upgrade their energy and thermal performance were top of the agenda. Investment to improve the energy efficiency of rural housing and generating heat from low- or zero-carbon sources is a core part of the merchant’s business.  

Bradfords Building Supplies and its trade body, the BMF, are concerned that the effort required to improve many more homes is unlikely to be completed. The worry is that obstacles that are common to insulating and heating - e.g. hassle, finding a reputable installer, and finance - put residents off. This despite many in Somerset who struggle with their energy bills.  

Tightening the Building Regulations and higher performance standards are part of the solution - but compelling offers to entice ‘able to pay’ residents are also required. According to Mr Young, there is plenty of scope to install loft and other types of insulation - as a well as efficient modern boilers and adjustable heating controls - that are inexpensive and straightforward to install.  

After visiting the 1½-acre site, James Heappey MP said:   “I was delighted to visit Bradfords in Glastonbury and see for myself their contribution to the town and the Somerset economy. I congratulate Branch Manager, Jason Cooper, and his team who help customers with their home improvement projects. I wish Bradfords continued success as they approach their 250th year, a significant anniversary for any firm. Their knowledge and enthusiasm on how to help customers better insulate their homes and live in a cheaper and greener way was really encouraging”.  

David Young, Managing Director of Bradfords Building Supplies said:   “We were delighted to welcome James Heappey and show him how Bradfords has evolved over two centuries. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours, and offering his insight and support. I hope James can help raise the profile of merchants with his fellow MPs”.    

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs how trade essentials and value-added products get from quarries, brickworks, sawmills and factories to where they are needed - and to outline the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.
How the building materials supply chain has evolved over two centuries was the focus of a constituency visit by James Heappey MP who visited the Glastonbury branch of Bradfords Building Supplies, the country’s oldest builders’ merchant.

BMF opens Regional Centre of Excellence at Travis Perkins  

 20 January 2019

Travis Perkins Omega CentreThe BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Travis Perkins Omega Centre in Warrington.  

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 Travis Perkins’ stunning Omega Centre in Warrington, will serve BMF members in the North West region.  

P&H Omega is a 630,000 sq ft National Distribution Centre providing next day order fulfilment, supporting 370 Plumbing & Heating Branches across the UK Network and direct to customer via e-commerce. With over 75,000 pallet/ pick locations, the site has an outbound pick capability of over 2million units per week across 14,000 pallets. This is achieved through a core of over 300 colleagues, with flexibility for additional colleagues, as required, to meet business and seasonal demand.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to open this outstanding Regional Centre of Excellence at Travis Perkins. It’s a superb facility where members can meet and attend BMF training courses, regional meetings and other regional events.”  

Chris Ives, Supply Chain Director for Plumbing and Heating at Travis Perkins, said “We are thrilled to be able to support the Builders Merchants Federation. Omega is a state-of-the-art facility solely dedicated to delivering great service at low cost to our City Plumbing and PTS Branches and Customers. Over the last 12 months we have step changed our performance to support our business with online fulfilment, but maintain our traditional values of a huge range available next day in branches. It’s great to strengthen our ties further with the BMF by inaugurating this site today as a Regional Centre of Excellence in the North West and we look forward to working with them and hosting many training events, regional meetings and offering networking opportunities for them in the future”.  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the UK and Ireland please click here and for more information about Travis Perkins visit www.travisperkins.co.uk.

The BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Travis Perkins Omega Centre in Warrington.

BMF opens Regional Centre of Excellence at Talasey  

19 February 2019

BMF RCOE at Tallasey GroupThe BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Talasey Group in Doncaster.  

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 Talasey Group’s excellent premises, will serve BMF members in the Yorkshire region.  

The origins of Talasey Ltd, operating as Talasey Group is founded in the history of its leading product brand, Natural Paving, which was established in 2004. Natural Paving’s commitment to excellent quality and customer service has led to its current ranking as the number one independent supplier of natural stone to the UK landscaping industry, with full UK coverage, activities in Europe and a sister company in America, Natural Paving USA. Due to the continued growth of Natural Paving and diversification into new landscaping products, Talasey Group was created in 2017, to be the umbrella company and distributor of all the brands including: Natural Paving, Pavetuf, Vitripiazza, Baksteen, Luxigraze and Resiscape.  

John Newcomb, BMF Chief Executive, said: “The centre was opened at our BMF Young Merchants meeting on 19 February. This is an excellent centre that is well used by Talasey Group’s clients. We are extremely grateful that they are opening the centre to our members too, as localisation is an important strategy for the BMF. We look forward to holding future meetings and training courses here for members in the region.”    

Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Talasey Group said  ‘We are thrilled to be able to share our purpose built Talasey Training Academy and Talasey Group head office facilities with the BMF as a Regional Centre of Excellence. We are proud to be partnering with the BMF and are pleased to have the opportunity to further support the merchant industry with upskilling, training and development, something we are passionate about as a business.’  

For details of all the BMF Regional Centres of Excellence around the UK and Ireland please Ireland please click here or for more information about Talasey Group visit www.talasey.co.uk.

The BMF has launched its latest Regional Centre of Excellence at Talasey Group in Doncaster. The growing network of BMF Centres is making training courses and regional meetings more accessible to BMF members.

BSW joins the BMF  

BSW Timber18 February 2019

BSW is the latest member to join the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF). BSW Timber is the largest sawmilling business in Great Britain, with the company's foundations going back to 1848 and employing 1300 people.  

BSW sawmills are located throughout the UK, at Fort William, Boat of Garten, Petersmuir, Dalbeattie, Southampton, Carlisle and Newbridge-on-Wye in Wales and they have a sawmill in Riga, Latvia and have a project underway to construct another sawmill site in Slovenia. Group Headquarters remain in the town of Earlston in Berwickshire, where the business originated.

BSW manufactures and supplies a wide range of quality sawn products for an array of industries, including fencing, landscaping, cladding, construction, DIY, decking, and packaging.

Having undertaken a £125m investment programme over the last 10 years, BSW now has 1,300 employees and is passionate about creating a sustainable future for British forests and woodlands, and as such the company is a proud member of Grown in Britain. For every tree BSW harvests, a minimum of three are planted in its place, and the group uses 100% of the log it receives.  

Dave Chapman, Sales and Marketing Director at BSW Timber said: “We’re really excited to be joining the BMF – this move helps us as a company get to know its members better, which in turn helps us to build stronger relationships with the BMF family and provide its members with a unique, tailored, more efficient service.”  

Welcoming BSW into membership, BMF CEO, John Newcomb said, “I’m delighted that this thriving business recognises the wide variety of networking opportunities and other benefits that the BMF offers will add value to their business as it continues to develop and grow. I look forward to working with them.”  

BSW is the latest member to join the BMF. BSW Timber is the largest sawmilling business in Great Britain, with the company's foundations going back to 1848 and employing 1300 people.

Final line-up for BMF All-Industry Conference Forum  

11 February 2019

The BMF has confirmed the final speaker line up for its popular Industry Forum debate at this year’s All-Industry Conference.  Mark Vandecruys, Chairman of Belgium-based Fedrus International, and Neil Lawrence, Chief Operating Officer of Jewson will join the previously announced speakers, David Young of Bradfords Building Supplies and Tony France of Ibstock Brick.  

Bringing a European dimension to the debate, Mark Vandecruys is the co-owner and Chairman of Fedrus International, an independent Belgian distributor specialising in roofing and façade materials.  Over the last ten years, Mark has overseen the growth of the group from a small entity to a multinational business using a buy-and-build strategy. The company now comprises five operational units with total revenues of €650m and over 1550 employees. Mark also serves on the board of a number of companies, including BOSS paints. He is an alumni of Harvard Business School and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Vlerick Business School, contributing to their development programmes and acting as a sounding board for their entrepreneurship department.  

Neil Lawrence is both Chief Operating Officer for Jewson and Managing Director for Local Merchant Group, the latter a division of Saint-Gobain Building Distribution UK & Ireland comprising the brands Gibbs & Dandy, Chadwicks, JP Corry, Normans, DHS, Benchmark Building Supplies, Matthew Charlton and Roger W Jones.  Neil’s career in merchanting spans over 35 years, since he started working life as a yard hand at UBM, moving through various roles within that business before it was acquired by Jewson.  He has experienced merchanting at every level, as a branch manager in Devon and Cornwall, an Area Director for the Midlands, and as Regional Director before joining the Jewson Main Board initially as Operations Director and then Sales & Operations Director.  In 2011 he was appointed MD of Gibbs and Dandy, the Saint-Gobain division that became Local Merchant Group in 2013. He took up the COO role at Jewson in December 2018, shortly after he was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Builders Merchants Awards for Excellence that year. Neil is also the merchant advisor to the BMF board.  

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said, “The Industry Forum is one of the most engaging sessions at the BMF’s biennial Conference, setting the tone for our Saturday programme. With Neil and Mark completing our panel of speakers I can guarantee delegates will be presented with a broad range of perspectives on building materials supply in a post-Brexit environment before the debate is opened to the floor.”      
The sold-out BMF All Industry Conference, sponsored by the Crystal Clear Group, takes place in Dubrovnik from 13-16 June 2019. Further details are available on the Conference website, www.bmfconference.co.uk
The BMF has confirmed the final speaker line up for its popular Industry Forum debate at this year’s All-Industry Conference.