News & Events

EU wooden furniture exports slow down on fewer orders from Russia

As reported by IHB - FORDAQ websitefrom the second half of 2013, the EU exports of wood furniture to Russia and Eastern Europe "has turned into decline".

"This trend reflects political tensions between the EU and Russia in connection with the crisis in the Ukraine as well as economic difficulties in Russia, which have been aggravated by the political crisis", explains IHB.

On the other hand, good news for EU wood furniture come from North America and China. "Exports to North America continued to rise sharply and deliveries to China and other Asian countries are also increasing", the website highlights.

Read the article.

CTI Blog - Missed opportunities in the Summer Budget

This blog post is by David Hopkins, Executive Director at Wood for Good.

There were some very clever gimmicks within the Budget announcement. However, four months on from the Chancellor’s pre-election budget, it’s disappointing to see key issues surrounding manufacturing, housebuilding and climate change omitted once again.

Not only do these both represent significant challenges for the UK, but they are all key drivers for economic growth.

The UK timber industry is a vital £9 billion low-carbon manufacturing sector that is key to achieving cheaper, quicker, and more sustainable delivery of housing. Recent reports show that yearly output levels of new homes would more than double, and exceed annual housebuilding targets, if off-site methods were used.

The UK needs a new era of sustainable construction with wood at its heart to boost our economy and reduce our emissions. The budget has missed an opportunity to help drive this forward.

BMF welcomes support for apprenticeships in Emergency Budget

John Newcomb, Managing Director of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), commented yesterday's Emergency Budget welcoming the support for apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships are the life blood of our economy", said Newcomb. "We have been urging the Chancellor to ensure the future funding provision for apprenticeships is sufficiently attractive to encourage employers to invest in developing new talent and training. The apprenticeship levy is a welcome and much needed boost to this. It means there is a real incentive to take on apprentices."

“The setting of the level of the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000 by January and raising the Employment Allowance by £1,000 to £3,000 by April next year will help our SME members, in particular", Newcomb added. 

“The freezing of fuel is also good news but and will be offset by the higher wage bills due to the rise in the Living Wage.  Members will be squeezed by this in the short term especially as the fall in corporation tax to 18% will not take full effect until 2020.” 

Nexus CIFS underlines the importance of scale-ups for the UK economy

"If we take action now to focus on scale-ups, we will secure significant growth in jobs, taxes and wealth, and the competitive advantage of Britain for generations to come", underlines Nexus CIFS commenting the latest Scale-Up Report on UK Economic GrowthA ‘scale-up’ is an enterprise with average annual growth in employees (or turnover) greater than 20% over a three-year period.

The UK report explains how a boost of just 1% to our scale-up population should drive an additional 238,000 jobs and £38 billion to the economy within three years. In the medium-term, we stand to benefit by £96 billion per annum and in the long-run, if we close the scale-up gap, then we stand to gain 150,000 net jobs and £225 billion by 2034. This goes hand-in-hand with the UK’s need to grow its export industries.

"We are delighted that so many of our clients fit into the ‘scale up’ category and are the real drivers of our economy", says Nexus CIFS. "It could well be a time when big changes are made to suppliers, the way you do business, and when you have to think globally rather than domestically – all part of the ‘growing pains’ that need to be dealt with effectively".

TRADA launches its third National Student Design Competition

TRADA, through its successful University Engagement Programme (UEP), has set its third National Student Design Competition – dubbed Arboreal for 2016.

The challenge will see students tasked with designing a brand new flagship timber structure for Arboreal, at the Sylva Wood Centre in south Oxfordshire.

The design brief includes creating a new two-storey timber structure to serve as a multi use building, housing offices, seminar space, exhibition space and a field laboratory.

The competitors need to reflect the ethos and vision of the charity. At the same time, they’ll need to incorporate cutting-edge materials and technologies throughout to act as inspiration to visitors and users and create a sustainable building both with the materials they propose and long term usage of the new building.

The deadline to join the competition is Friday 11th March 2016

Find out more here.