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Matthew Pitt, commercial and operations director of Abode, has just completed a 90 mile walk along the Dales Way, a long distance footpath, raising over £2,500 for the Alzheimers Society.

Konnect17 – a two-day customer conference held recently for users of K8 software – was the best-attended Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) customer conference yet, with 35% more customers present than at last year’s event.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has formed an accredited Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA) that will help its members benefit from the opportunities created by the Apprenticeship Reforms – whether or not they are required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy.

Bryan Clover, chief executive officer of the Rainy Day Trust (RDT), has completed the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path Challenge for charity – walking all 186 miles in 9.5 days!

JT Dove sends a message to government during visit by MP

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is delighted to welcome two new independent merchant members in Northern Ireland.

Jewson employees, suppliers and customers donned their shorts and football boots to raise more than £1,360 for Barnardo’s.

Dulux Trade has announced the winners of its Select Decorator Awards. Open to members of the Dulux Select Decorator scheme, entrants for this year’s competition were required to submit details of their best projects, complemented with statements from their clients.

Kyle Grigg, apprentice at SMD.

A 1.7 % sector growth forecast for five years until 2021 means youth is desperately needed, according to SMD, but the number of workers retiring is outstripping new blood.

Plumb Center has launched a dedicated commercial plumbing and heating section on its website, designed to make life easier for installers looking for commercial-grade products and advice.

Independent merchant AW Lumb has been sold as part of a management buyout.

Fernox has joined the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), providing an additional platform to promote best practice and reach out to customers through the federation’s unique forum of merchants and suppliers.

Lignacite Blocks won the Ridgeons Overall Supplier of the Year award.

On 10 May, Ridgeons held its 10th annual Supplier of the Year Awards at Quy Mill in Cambridge.

Showcasing the latest range of products and tools from big name brands, Frank Howard Tools & Fixings is inviting tradespeople and DIY’ers along to its annual tool show.

Held at a venue in Nottingham on 13 May, all 12 branches and the head office of Smith Brothers Stores gathered to honour achievements of its staff.

Miriam Staley, who kick-started a high profile career at the age of 26 when she made it to the final five of the first series of The Apprentice, will host the Business Conference at BMF Members’ Day on 20 September.

Customers at a Shropshire-based builders’ merchant will now be spoilt for choice thanks to the launch of a new kitchen and bathroom showroom.

The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM) recently exhibited at the annual Livery Schools Link (LSL) Showcase in Guildhall to help raise the profile of our industry among students.

Duffield Timber has made a £1m investment in new machinery at its site near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

During what is the biggest period of expansion the company has ever undertaken, Selco has opened a branch in Guildford on the Slyfield Industrial Estate.

Two Rudridge employees are gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime to raise cash in memory of a colleague.

Muddy Boots Woodland to Shore Pre-School, due to open in Bideford, Devon in 2017, is the latest winner of RGB Building Supplies’ Well Built Community Fund following a public vote.

PPE manufacturer Centurion has re-launched its brand following a complete brand review during 2016.

UK Businesses, big and small, are being urged to take action to support their local community growing groups, many of which struggle to make ends meet.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme - the organisation established to improve the image of the construction industry - is now international, having launched its first registered site in Ireland.

The Baxi Heating marketing team celebrate at the Chartered Institute of Marketing's Marketing Excellence Awards.

Baxi Heating has won Marketing Team of the Year at the 2017 Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Marketing Excellence Awards.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and the Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) have agreed a strategic partnership that will see the two bodies working together more closely to develop the professionalism of the industry.

JP Corry has been shortlisted for a Responsible Business Award in Northern Ireland.

The ‘egg-laying’ operation added at Croft, Masterblock’s largest factory.

Aggregate Industries’ Masterblock business has invested £2m into improving its block product operations at three of its factories across the country, in response to a steady increase in demand from the housing industry.

In a galaxy not so far away, employees from Keyline will morph into their favourite characters from Star Wars, Doctor Who and The X Files as they jump behind the wheel and drive across Europe to raise vital money for Prostate Cancer UK.

The steady increase in UK-manufactured brick deliveries has continued in line with rising industry demand, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Kym Tuckwell has joined Balcas Timber as sales executive and will be covering the sales territory of south Wales, the West Midlands and south/south west of England.

Private equity house Key Capital Partners (KCP) has acquired a majority stake in online retailer of building materials, Construction Materials Online (CMO), which operates retail sites supplying DIY builders and small building contractors.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has published a new Training Solutions Prospectus, which details the full programme of specialist training support available for merchants and their suppliers.

Independent merchant buying group The IPG has announced its first conference and exhibition.

Neil Schofield, head of external affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group has praised a new incentive designed to encourage homeowners and landlords in Scotland to make energy and money-saving improvements to their properties.

Harry Redknapp launched the new and improved Elliotts’ Fordingbridge branch at a customer event recently.

Staff at Dorset-based SMD are steeling themselves for a series of charity efforts this summer.

To celebrate the first anniversary of The Room Works, a kitchen and bathroom showroom from RGB Building Supplies based in Exeter battled it out with Exeter City FC and the Exeter Chiefs rugby team during a charity bake-off on 4 May.

Elliotts Living Spaces designer Emma Knight has been crowned Sottini Showroom Designer of the Year after her 3D bathroom design was selected by a judging panel made up of industry experts.

The classic bacon sandwich is the breakfast of choice for our nation’s tradespeople, with new research suggesting it is their favourite secret indulgence.

At the Timber Trades Benevolent Society’s (TTBS) Annual General Meeting, held on 11 May, Ivan Savage, the Society’s general manager since 2011, was also appointed as the national president for 2017 and 2018, succeeding Robert Bruce of MH Southern & Co.

JELD-WEN has sponsored and presented the Jewson Best Young Tradesperson of the Year 2017 competition, 18–24 category, which was awarded to winner Jack Allen, a carpenter from Glasgow.

IKO PLC has been awarded an International Safety Award for Manufacturing by the British Safety Council. The award reflects the company’s commitment to protecting all its employees from the risk of injury and ill health at work.

Grafton Group plc, the builders’ merchanting and DIY Group with operations in the UK, Ireland and Belgium has issued its trading update for the period 1 January 2017 to 30 April 2017.

Small and medium sized housebuilders across the UK are concerned that clay brick shortages could significantly delay construction projects, as we move through the year.

Mike Pollard from ForgeFix has successfully completed the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for charity.

Nu-Heat has secured investment from new shareholders as part of plans for continued growth.

John Nicholls Building and Plumbing Merchants has won the Established Business Award at the Cherwell Business Awards.

The industry reported a strong start to 2017 with increases in sales, output and workloads in Q1 driven by increased demand, according to the Construction Products Association’s (CPA) Construction Trade Survey Q1, which also painted a positive picture for 2017 with companies reporting an optimistic outlook for the year ahead.

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