Builders' Merchants News
Higgins Building Supplies opens new branch

After trading for over 140 years in the town of Wellingborough, Higgins Building Supplies has opened a new branch in Irthlingborough.

Lytag opens new lightweight aggregate facility

A new Lytag lightweight aggregate (LWA) manufacturing facility has been opened in the Drax Power Station, North Yorkshire, significantly increasing access to the material for project teams throughout the UK.

Association chairman: confidence to invest is critical

The Chancellor’s upcoming Autumn Statement is an opportunity for government to address key challenges facing the construction products industry, said chairman Geoff Cooper at the Construction Products Association’s Autumn Lunch.

GAI Education Awards lunch 2013

Yet another successful awards lunch was held in London on 6 November to celebrate the success of the new Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) Diploma holders and other special award winners resulting from this year’s examinations.

Employers turn their backs on academic qualifications

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of employers see vocational qualifications (VQs) as essential for improving the skills of young people and preparing them for work, with over half (53%) rating VQs as more valuable than academic qualifications.

Last few seats for Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence

With just under two weeks to go, there are now only a few places available for the 2013 Builders' Merchants Awards for Excellence annual luncheon.

Pump industry lobbying forces Green Deal U-turn over circulators

Pump industry lobbying has forced a U-turn by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) with circulator pumps set to be finally included in the government’s Green Deal programme.

Sprue Safety Products welcomes government review on CO regulations

Sprue Safety Products has welcomed the recent announcement in the House of Lords that there will be a government review of current regulations on carbon monoxide (CO), with particular focus on the safety of tenants in rented accommodation.

Norbord sends a parliament of owls to Parliament

Norbord recently sent a soft toy owl to each MP and Lord in Westminster as part of its Use Wood Wisely initiative.

Graham scores high with customers

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant started an extensive research programme in October 2011 resulting in feedback from 40,000 customer surveys and the overall results were extremely positive.

h&b group brings sunshine to Rainy Day Trust

The Rainy Day Trust (RDT) has welcomed another partner as its 170th birthday year draws to a close.

Builders’ merchants on TV

The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WcoBM) has been investing time and money into promoting the industry, to get the ‘Get Britain Building’ message on to BBC TV.

IoBM merchant industry training forum

The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) is inviting training professionals from the merchant industry to a forum event on 28 November 2013.

Ridgeons’ Newmarket branch hosts week-long trade event

Ridgeons’ Newmarket branch is bringing together a number of leading industry suppliers to host a dedicated weeks’ worth of activities and deals, as part of its November Trade Week.

NMBS secures ISO 9001 certification

NMBS has successfully achieved ISO 9001 certification after a rigorous and in-depth assessment process carried out by a team of independent auditors.

Top suppliers line up at Pipe Center and Climate Center’s national event

Representatives from more than 50 leading suppliers to the heating and cooling industry joined Lee Newman, recently appointed managing director of Pipe Center and Climate Center, on stage at the distributor’s annual conference.

Bosch named Pipe Center Supplier of the Year

Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating has beaten off stiff competition to be named Supplier of the Year by Pipe Center.

Worcester named as Graham Supplier of the Year

Worcester, Bosch Group, has been named Supplier of the Year by Graham Plumbers’ Merchant.

Plumb Center helps create an energy efficient nation

Plumb Center has launched its manifesto at the House of Commons, which sets out a series of policy recommendations with the aim of creating a more energy conscious society.

NMBS celebrates with ‘best ever’ dinner dance

NMBS, the buying society for independent builders', timber, plumbing and heating, and hardware merchants, has marked its 50th anniversary with its 'best ever' Dinner Dance. Almost 1,000 people attended this year's event, which took place on the 26 October 2013 in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

City & Guilds responds to government’s implementation plan for the future of apprenticeships

Chris Jones, chief executive officer and director-general at City & Guilds, has responded to government's reform to apprenticeships.

Uponor takes home merchant award for in-branch training

Uponor has been recognised for its outstanding training and development support by Graham Plumbers’ Merchant.

Chandlers gives students a lesson in sustainable building

Chandlers Building Supplies recently gave hands on training to City College Brighton students who were helping to construct a WC in Brighton’s Waste House out of environmentally friendly Porotherm Bricks.

Merchants take off with HBXL’s Estimating Service

Builders’ merchants wanting to improve profitability by offering speedy and accurate quotes for their customers can make the most of a new service that has proved popular across the residential building sector.

Vary room temperatures to reduce bills

The Manufacturers' Association of Radiators & Convectors (MARC) has welcomed advice from Public Health England advising homeowners to vary the temperatures at which they heat different rooms.

No time for commercial breaks, warns Nu-way

“Any merchant not currently selling commercial spare parts is missing out on revenue,” Nu-way’s trading director Rick Crees has warned.

Merchants compete to become Norbord experts

Builders’ merchant staff across the UK recently swotted up on Norbord’s product range as part of an awareness-raising exercise.

Grafton Group to acquire Belgian merchanting business for €20.5m

Grafton Group has reached an agreement to acquire Binje Ackermans SA, a six branch builders’ merchanting business based in Brussels and trading under the MPRO brand.

Drain Center advises suppliers to work together to avoid housebuilding blockage

Drain Center warns that collaboration across the whole supply chain is essential to avoid the recent materials shortage threat becoming a reality and stalling the marketplace.

Wienerberger reveals new Load Builder service

Load Builder from Wienerberger is a new service for builders’ merchant customers that has been designed to help them address two of their most important challenges – maximising their product offering with limited space and minimising capital costs of stock.

Tory Chairman hails 'Help to Buy' a success at MKM

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP has said the Help to Buy scheme is benefitting all parts of the UK housebuilding industry as the government prepares to roll out the second phase.

International Hardware Fair seeks innovation

Next year's International Hardware Fair (Eisenwarenmesse) in Cologne will be showcasing the latest offerings from the European tools, fasteners and fixings sector.

Substandard safety relief valves flood UK market

Altecnic is reporting an increase in the number of non-compliant products flooding the UK and Irish market.

BMF offers credit lifeline to builders in time for 'Help to Buy' scheme

A new scheme launched by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will provide a welcome credit lifeline to smaller companies in the building trade by enabling them to secure additional credit from their local builders’ merchant and bypass the need for bank lending.

Knauf warns against cutting ECO

Knauf Insulation is warning the government not to ignore the long-term picture, amid claims that it is planning to extend the deadline for energy companies to fulfil their responsibilities under the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), in a bid to lower fuel bills.

Wolseley axcelerates risk evaluation

Recommind, a specialist in unstructured data management, analysis and governance technology, has announced that Wolseley has installed Axcelerate® Early Case Assessment & Collection with the capability to deploy across all of its trading operations worldwide.

BSS launches campaign to satisfy the capital’s growing industrial market

BSS Industrial has launched a ‘five star’ service initiative, which includes extended access to products and branch expertise to cater for the growing demands of London’s industrial sector.

Miller Homes looks to forge regional merchant network with BMF

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is working with Miller Homes to identify a regional network of BMF merchant members with the capacity to supply the national housebuilder, which spends around £30m a year with merchants and distributors on building materials.

Solid growth for Travis Perkins

Travis Perkins has announced sales growth of 8.6% as the merchant sees positive growth continue for the third quarter of 2013.

Switch on to the eTrade benefits with Graham

Graham Plumbers’ Merchant has launched a new eTrade counter service, which allows users to order from the merchant’s Always Available range 24/7.

Howarth Timber signs exclusive HazardCo agreement

Howarth Timber & Building Supplies is continuing to provide its customers with a comprehensive service after signing an exclusive agreement with on-site health and safety provider HazardCo.

Stelrad embraces BIM

Stelrad Radiators is embracing Building Information Modelling (BIM) and now has a number of products on BIMStore ready for architects, engineers and contractors to integrate into future projects.

Engineering and manufacturing sector faces skills shortage as employers look abroad

Employers in the UK are facing a skills shortage with engineering and manufacturing companies amongst the worst affected, according to new research published by City & Guilds.

BMF welcomes early introduction of Help to Buy scheme

In the week that several banks launched 95% loans under the second phase of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) managing director John Newcomb welcomed the government’s efforts to address the housing shortfall – but said they have to reach the right balance between demand and supply.

Builders’ merchants head for the trees

Builders’ merchants from Jersey to Warrington and South Wales to Sleaford have planted trees in schools with SCA, in celebration of FSC Friday at the end of September.

Great prize on offer at Awards auction

This year, the Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence is joining with the Rainy Day Trust to offer merchants the chance to win a terrific prize while raising money for a worthy cause.

New graduate recruits join Wolseley UK

Ten talented graduates have started work after fighting off fierce competition to gain a place on Wolseley UK’s new Management Training programme.

Blackburn builders’ merchant fined over roof fall

A builders’ merchant has been sentenced after a man fell through the roof of its Blackburn warehouse.

WCoBM honorary member elected to become Lord Mayor of London

Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants' (WCoBM) honorary member Fiona Woolf CBE was elected to become the new Lord Mayor of London on 30 September.

CDP commends Travis Perkins for climate change disclosure

The Travis Perkins Group has been commended by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for its approach to the disclosure of climate change information.