Builders' Merchants News
NIA responds to Green Deal/ECO Statistics and CCC Report

Neil Marshall, chief executive of the National Insulation Association (NIA), has commented on the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recently published ‘Meeting Carbon Budgets Annual Progress Report’, and the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) statistics, which were published by DECC at the end of June.

Integrated Services to provide a stores management facility for Warmer Energy Services

Warmer Energy Services has appointed supply chain and procurement specialist Integrated Services – a division of Wolseley UK – to provide a dedicated stores management facility at the company’s head office in Liverpool.

What’s in a name

Firebird UK has altered its name to Firebird Heating Solutions, to reflect the growing product portfolio as the heating market adapts to change and embraces new technologies to provide a coordinated and economical solution to home heating.

CE compliance ‘must be policed’

Franke Washroom Systems, also known as Franke Sissons, Chesterfield, is one of the first manufacturers to conform to the latest round of CE compliance legislation.

Good news for HPS

HPS sales are up 16.2% in the first half of 2013 (1 January to 30 June) against the same period in 2012. Encouragingly, excluding the new branches, the existing branches were up 8.8% in the same period.

Construction Products Association has high hopes for new industrial strategy

A joint strategy named Construction 2025 was launched last week, setting out how industry and government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming years.

SIG roofing urges contractors to be vigilant when choosing slate

An increase in incorrectly marked, inferior slate coming into the UK market poses a worrying threat to merchants and contractors, SIG Roofing Supplies has warned.

Kitsons and GRM re-launch as SIG Technical Insulation

Two of the leading thermal insulation, industrial H&V and high temperature materials suppliers – SIG-owned Kitsons Thermal Supplies and GRM Distribution – have been officially re-launched as SIG Technical Insulation.

Hanson products get the CE mark

Hanson products are now all certified with the new mandatory Construction Products Regulation (CPR) CE mark.

Government backs BMF Trade Credit Scheme

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has initiated a Trade Credit Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, which will enable merchants to offer credit to trade customers that fall outside their normal risk profile, or have reached their credit limit.

Ridgeons helps students

Ridgeons, along with other employers in Cambridge, recently talked to students from six schools at two events arranged by the Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership. The events were designed for students wanting to start work following their GCSEs.

Merchants join water-efficiency scheme

Travis Perkins, Saint Gobain, Wolseley and Chandlers’ Building Supplies have joined a scheme to label products that help consumers identify the water efficiency of taps, showers and baths.

Small builders see recovery

Small and medium-size builders have reported a rising workload for the first time since 2007, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Grafton abandons bond issue

Grafton Group has withdrawn its proposed issue of Sterling Retail Bonds, blaming interest rate volatility and market uncertainty during the offer period.

MKM’s 40th branch to spearhead national expansion plans

MKM Building Supplies has announced ambitious expansion plans ahead of the opening of its 40th branch.

Charity silent auction launched by builders’ merchant

As part of its Chandlers £50k Challenge, Chandlers Building Supplies, has launched an online silent auction to help reach its £50,000 target.

New water-efficiency label launched

DIY retailers, builders’ merchants and manufacturers are to implement a voluntary labelling scheme, to help consumers identify the water efficiency of bathroom fittings such as taps, showers, WCs and baths.

Lafarge Tarmac is inflated by win

Lafarge Tarmac has scooped the British Precast Concrete Association's "Sustainability Champions 2013" award for the company's Automatic Tyre Inflation System (ATIS).

Collaboration boosts employment in construction SME sector

Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment today (4 July) signed a Partnership Agreement with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) which pledges that both parties will do all they can to boost employment and training in the SME construction sector.

RenewableUK welcomes government confirmation of support

RenewableUK has welcomed new official government statistics published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showing that renewable electricity generation was 12.4 TWh in 2013 Q1, an increase of 10% on the same period the previous year.

Homeowners losing confidence in British tradesmen

Homeowners are losing confidence in British tradesmen, according to a warning from TrustMark, the government-endorsed quality mark for firms in the home repair, maintenance and improvement sector.

Jackson Building Centres is Woldmarsh's preferred supplier

Jackson Building Centres has been formally recognised by agricultural buying group Woldmarsh Producers as its preferred supplier.

Wolseley UK creates new businesses

Wolseley UK is creating two business areas – one specialising in above-ground drainage and the other in below-ground drainage – for the civils and utilities markets.

CCF opens branch in Belvedere

CCF has opened a new branch in Belvedere. Its extensive warehouse and trade counter supports a comprehensive product portfolio and offers excellent stock availability to meet demand from contractors in the south east London and Kent regeneration zone.

BMF actions initiatives from “best ever conference”

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is to build on what has been widely acclaimed as the industry’s “best ever conference”, by developing initiatives which stem directly from two of the guest speakers’ presentations at the event in Portugal last month.

Alpha Heating Innovation encourages sector to ‘remain unified’

Alpha Heating Innovation has recently responded to the take-up of boiler cashback under the Green Deal.

Knauf Insulation welcomes Construction Products Regulation

Knauf Insulation is ready for the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which came fully into force yesterday (1 July), replacing the current Construction Products Directive. The CPR is valid within the European Economic Area (EEA).

BMF announces first buying group membership scheme

As part of its drive to fully represent the merchant industry, the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has agreed its first buying group membership scheme with IBC.

‘Trade store of the future’ unveiled in Hull

Ideal Standard and PTS have joined forces and responded to customer demand to create an exciting new ‘trade store’ concept for plumbing and heating installers in Hull.

HSS acquires UK platforms from Haulotte Group

HSS Hire Services Group (HSS) has acquired UK Platforms (UKP), the powered access specialist, from the Haulotte Group.

Ashford Heating Supplies joins NBG

Ashford Heating Supplies is the latest plumbing and heating specialist to join the National Buying Group (NBG).

MKM to offer free Wi-Fi across its branches

MKM Building Supplies has signed a deal with The Cloud to offer customers free Wi-Fi across all of its 39 branches.

Saint-Gobain calls for action to address Green Deal and retrofit concerns

Dr Peter Hindle MBE, general delegate for Saint-Gobain in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, has undersigned a letter to all three of the main political parties setting out concerns with current retrofit policy and calling for action to address these issues.

Tailored Heating Supplies gets £40k from development fund

Carlisle-based Tailored Heating Supplies plans to grow its sales team and IT infrastructure with £40k funding from Access to Finance.

New construction product regulations

From today (1 July) it is now mandatory for construction products to be tested against harmonised technical standards known as European product standards (hENs) or European Technical Assessments (ETAs).

Ford announces new nationwide training for young drivers

Ford Motor Company has announced the introduction of its Ford Driving Skills for Life programme in the UK, as latest statistics confirm that road accidents remain one of the leading causes of death in young people.

B&Q shuts Barnsley store

B&Q’s store on Bleachcroft Way in Barnsley is set to close and be converted into a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Travis gets green light for Warrington distribution centre

The Travis Perkins Group's planned £35m distribution centre in Warrington has been granted planning permission.

Chancellor sounds the death knell for domestic RHI

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Comprehensive Spending Review has effectively cancelled the introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), according to a leading heating industry figure.

First official Green Deal figures released

The first official Green Deal (GD) figures have been released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) amid suggestions that the general public is failing to take up the funding options available.

Low-carbon spending snub leaves builders on critical list

There is scant encouragement for beleaguered construction small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Comprehensive Spending Review, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which argues more needs to be done to support investment in low-carbon refurbishment.

Kirby Sebastian targets growth with expanded distributor network

Kirby Sebastian (KS Bathrooms) has expanded into Scotland and Ireland for the first time, following the appointment of two new distributors.

Bristan bags two Cemco awards

Shower and taps company Bristan has triumphed at the annual Cemco Lightside Supplier of the Year awards, winning both Bathroom Supplier of the Year and overall Supplier of the Year.

Kingfisher anticipates DIY revival

Financial assistance for first-time homebuyers is likely to prompt a resurgence of DIY spending after several years of decline, Kingfisher's chief executive Ian Cheshire has said.

Baxi scoops double win at Cemco awards

Baxi has been crowned Heating Supplier of the Year for a second time at the Cemco supplier awards.

Signs look good for SK Sales

SIG has acquired SK Sales, a UK supplier of specialist air-handling products.

Grafton to raise £50m with bonds

Grafton Group hopes to raise at least £50m by offering bonds directly to retail investors. Chief executive Gavin Slark said the firm aims to diversify its funding and extend the maturity of its debts. Investec is managing the issue.

Green Deal take-up in Birmingham low

Take-up figures for the Birmingham Green Deal programme show that out of 680 house assessments, only one home signed up to a Green Deal plan.

Jewson launches mobile friendly site

Jewson customers have been quick to take advantage of the recently launched Jewson Tools website (, which is now mobile friendly for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Firm foundation from the GAI

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) is launching a new development in its education programme: a new Foundation Module in Hardware.