Industry News

BMF to have exhibition Pavilion at UK Construction Week 2016

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will have its own branded Pavilion at the UK Construction Week 2016, to take place at the NEC Birmingham from 18-23 October  2016.

The BMF Pavilion will be sited across the Build Show and HVAC areas of the exhibition, which features nine separate shows in total, including Grand Designs Live.

John Newcomb, BMF Managing Director, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring merchants and suppliers together to find out more about the latest products and new technology and building techniques coming on stream. When I joined the industry I was surprised that it had not had a major exhibition to showcase the latest trends for a number of years. Now UK Construction Week has filled that gap. By working with a broad range of industry associations, like the BMF, the organisers are making the event relevant to as many people as possible, giving them multiple reasons to attend.”

Nathan Garnett, Event Director, UK Construction Week commented: “We are delighted to be working with the BMF. The first edition of UK Construction Week in 2015 attracted 500 merchants. With the help of the BMF we believe we can multiply this number greatly. We are committed to making UK Construction Week the largest collection of innovative exhibitors, products, new buildings, materials and techniques. Working with industry experts, associations and thought leaders, including the BMF, is a crucial element of that intent.”

BMF members taking exhibition space within the BMF Pavilion will benefit from a substantial 25% discount.

For further information, or to reserve a place in the BMF area, it is possible to contact [email protected] or [email protected].

BMF celebrates first students group to achieve its Post Graduate Diploma

The Builders Merchants Federation’s professional and personal development programme achieved a new landmark this week, when the first eight students graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Independent Merchant Leadership and Strategy, three of them with Distinction.

Five of the graduates, Andrew Brooker of T Brooker, Jason Rothwell of Howarth Timber, and Lee Church, Jake Feek and Jamie Pierce from Parker Building Supplies attended Birmingham City University’s Winter Award Ceremony, donning traditional gowns to receive their Diplomas.

The three other graduates were Gary Froggatt of Howarth Timber and Darren MacAskill and Steven Webber both from Elliott Brothers.

The ceremony was attended by BMF Managing Director John Newcomb, Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director and Stewart Pierce, BMF Vice Chair. “I am proud and delighted to congratulate the first group to achieve the BMF Post Graduate Diploma.  I believe they are all planning to continue their studies at Birmingham City University towards a merchant-specific Masters Degree that has been developed in conjunction with the BMF", Mr Newcomb said. "This is a fantastic endorsement of the relevance of the BMF’s development programme for the industry."

BMF sales keep on rising despite Renewables sector contraction

The latest sales figures from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel, released today by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), show sales in Q3 2015 through the UK’s general builders’ merchants were up on both the last quarter and the same quarter in 2014.

Sales in Q3 2015 were 2.8% ahead of the same period last year, and 1.7% up on Q2 2015. It was the strongest quarter since GfK started tracking builders’ merchants. Total sales ex-VAT for Q3 2015 were £1.38bn. The only negative note comes from the Renewables & Water Management, down -16.7% in Q3.

Commenting on the figures, BMF MD John Newcomb said: “The Builders Merchants Panel has now returned 15 months of data, enabling us to make year on year quarterly comparisons for the first time. Most sectors have performed strongly in the last quarter. However, Renewables & Water Management stands out from other sectors with a pronounced drop in sales. It appears to have suffered since the Government announced that Zero Carbon Standard for new homes would be discontinued.”

BMF meets Scottish National Party in Aberdeen

On 16 October, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) met the Scottish National Party at its Annual Conference in Aberdeen. The event represented a precious occasion to hear first-hand from government ministers and party officials about their ideas and policies - and to explain the role, value and importance of merchants and the Federation itself to the Scottish economy.

The pivotal meeting was with Dr Aileen McLeod MSP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, to discuss improving the thermal & energy performance of existing buildings. Interesting notes also came from Nicola Sturgeon MSP's speach. Sturgeon pledeged that if her Party was re-elected, her Government would oversee the building of 50,000 new affordable homes, costing £3 billion, over the next five years. Ministers said they are on track to exceed their current five-year target of 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016.

“I was glad to have the chance to outline the role, value and importance of merchants to the Scottish economy. We went to brief the SNP about our supply chain and the role of BMF members in helping to build and improve homes and workplaces”, said Graham Bolton, BMF Regional Manager. 

To read the complete briefing notes click here.

Travis Perkins and Keyline return to the BMF

Travis Perkins and Keyline have rejoined the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF). Both became members on 1st September 2015 boosting the BMF’s growing membership to 500 companies.

Travis Perkins is one of the largest builders merchants supplying the UK’s building and construction industry, while Keyline is the UK's leading distributor of civils, fvdrainage and heavy building materials.  The two companies employ over 8,500 people between them and, together with its Rudridge business, trade from over 740 branches nationwide.  All three are included in the new membership arrangement, although Rudridge, which was acquired by Keyline earlier this year, was previously a BMF member in its own right.

BMF Chairman, Peter Hindle MBE, said: “The return of two of the industry’s largest players after a long absence is a significant milestone for the Federation. It makes the BMF a complete representation of the merchant industry, with 39 of the top 40 companies – including every one of the top 20 companies by turnover - now in membership.”