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The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to build 300,000 new homes needs to be underpinned by a pro-SME housing strategy if it has any hope of being achieved, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The green partitioning wall where school children will paint their mural.

Chandlers Building Supplies is asking schools to help them paint a mural that will go on display in its new Sustainable Building Solutions Centre at its Lewes branch.

HPS has opened a branch in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Independent merchant Heating Plumbing Supplies (HPS) opened its 30th branch in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on 29 September.

Hope chairman Amit Bhatia officially opens the Black Cat quarry, alongside (l-r) Simon Bryant – Black Cat quarry manager, Sean Hoare, managing director ECL Civil Engineering and Lee Babb, senior buyer ECL Civil Engineering.

Hope Construction Materials has announced the opening of its first new, greenfield quarry as part of its UK development plan.

A charity for the home improvement industry has started a helpline service to offer debt advice, counselling and legal advice.

The winner of this year’s Trucky Dip competition, which ran from 9 July until 12 September, has been announced.

ITW Construction Products, a manufacturer of fixing, fastening and drilling systems for wood, steel and concrete applications and ITW Industry, a specialist in software, components, fasteners and equipment for the timber construction industry, will now function as a combined business, operating under the name of ITW Construction Products.

Davidson Holdings has completed the acquisition of Pendock Profiles from Alumasc plc.

The Prime Minister’s pledge to build 100,000 new homes for young first time buyers is a welcome step to help address the housing crisis, but “who will build them?” asks the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Leading from the front – Mark Davies, managing director clears the hay bales.

On Sunday 28 September, 80 employees from LBS Builders Merchants completed the ‘Men’s Health, Survival Of The Fittest’ Cardiff urban assault course.

Merchant teams can yet again pit their building skills against each other at the next Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) Practical Building Skills Challenge Event, which will take place on Thursday 23 October 2014.

Trainee managers at contractor Willmott Dixon have teamed up with Buttle's builders' merchants in Enfield to modernise a local community centre.

Bill Davies, sales director at James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot.

Are you experienced in the plumbing and heating industry and fancy running your own branch with one of the most progressive firms in the sector?

L-r: David Pochin, Steve Heane of Steve Heane Plumbing & Heating (Leicester) and Simon Foord of Alpha.

Some of the biggest brands in the UK's heating and plumbing market descended on Leicester College to meet local installers at Pochin’s Heat Talk trade show.

Former Hardley’s owner Tony Jenvey (left) shakes hands with Tom Elliott, managing director of Elliotts (right) and chairman, Stuart Mason-Elliott (centre).

Elliotts has cemented its ambitious growth plans with the acquisition of Hardleys, a kitchen and bathroom showroom based in Lymington, Hampshire.

Saint-Gobain’s newest Technical Academy has received a visit from the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s Green Deal Communities Team.

Peter Hindle MBE.

Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland has launched its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Review, serving to update customers and stakeholders on the company’s approach and progress in sustainable development.

Mayor Boris Johnson makes a handmade brick with the help of Alan Pass, Ibstock's specials operative.

Ibstock Brick received a visit from the Mayor of London yesterday.

Andy Rummery, branch manager and Natalia Medina, showroom consultant at Drakes’ Uckfield branch.

Drakes Plumbing Supplies’ branch in Uckfield is celebrating its 25th birthday.

NMBS recently announced that its independent merchant members now have over 3,000 member branches within the UK and a combined sales value of over £6.5bn.

IBC sales & operations director John Brett with Alan Biggar.

In June 2013, Builders Store in Cheadle, Cheshire became IBC’s 150th member. IBC recently re-visited the family-run builders’ merchant to see how its first year of membership has gone.

Huws Gray has opened a new three-acre heavy-side branch at Llay in Wrexham to replace its previous base at Queensferry on Deeside.

L-r: Gary Riseborough and John Savage.

Flame Heating Spares is going from strength to strength after being appointed to the preferred suppliers list for Durham County Council.

Worcester, Bosch Group’s Martyn Bridges has backed plans laid out by the Liberal Democrats to reward people who improve the energy efficiency of their homes with a council tax discount.

Mark Woodworth, Speedy’s project manager (logistics).

Speedy claims to have become the first tool and equipment hire company in the UK to have its entire national depot portfolio accredited ‘silver’ under the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The National House-Building Council’s chief executive Mike Quinton has welcomed Ed Miliband’s policy agenda, which was announced as part of his speech at the Labour Conference on Tuesday (23 September).

h&b's golf winners.

Arrows sped from bows and shotguns fired among the pinewoods at h&b’s annual Activity Day, held at Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort, Brough.

Councillor Tony Austin (left) is welcomed to Drakes by chairman David Aisher.

Drakes Plumbing Supplies recently held an open evening to celebrate its acquisition of A&C Plumbing, creating its eighth branch.

The impact of a skills gap on the growth of the industry has become more apparent with the results of the latest Markit CIPS index.

The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) are once again challenging merchants across the country to pick up their tools and compete in the Practical Building Skills Challenge event 2014.

Most organisations now avoid buying products made out of metal, according to workplace supplier Slingsby.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has launched its manifesto for the 2015 general election at this year’s party conferences. The manifesto outlines NFB members’ key priorities for the next government and proposals for how these can be achieved.

Triton Showers factory in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Triton, The Great British Shower Company has joined the Made In Britain Campaign.

Worcester, Bosch Group has scored the highest in both the reliability and customer satisfaction categories of the Which? boiler report 2014.

Worcester, Bosch Group has once again come out on top in the Which? boiler report, having been awarded Which? Best Buys for the fourth year running across its complete Greenstar gas fired boiler range.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) celebrated a broad spectrum of training and career development achievements at its annual Members Day Awards Dinner on 16 September, 2014.

Laurence Allison (right), of Dimplex Heatpumps, with a customer in MKM's new Glasgow ‘Green Room’.

MKM Building Supplies has invested a five-figure sum in launching a new Green Room that specialises in all forms of renewable energy and sustainable technology, aimed at the building trade and consumers alike.

Lorna Fellowes, managing director, Triton Showers.

The government’s ‘one solution fits all’ approach to its new Consumer Rights Bill has been criticised by a spokesperson for Triton Showers.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has announced the first headline speaker for the All Industry Conference 2015.

BSS Industrial has invested in a dedicated BOSS training room to support customers wishing to become familiar with the brand’s solutions.

Chris Hayward with Steve Halford.

Crystal Direct and Active Products UK have both become suppliers for the National Merchant Buying Society (NMBS).

NMBS now has over 3,000 member branches within the UK, which is more than any national merchant, twice as many as McDonalds and three times as many as Starbucks.

Founder John Savage (left) with Matt Lindley, who has been employed to help establish the new South Shields branch of Flame Heating Spares.

John Savage, the entrepreneur behind Flame Heating Spares, has chosen his hometown of South Shields as the site of his third heating trade counter.

Ridgeons has expanded its reach across the Eastern region with the launch of a branch in Hitchin, taking the group's merchant branch network to 26.

LBS Builders Merchants has opened its fifth plumbers’ merchant in Swansea, Wales.

Graham is hosting daily trade events in branch until 22 September to celebrate the launch of its new Croydon branch.

Viessmann celebrated 25 years in the UK with an event held at the company’s Telford headquarters on 9 September.

BSS Drainage has set up a branch at a new Park Royal location under the banner of BSS Drainage Winser.

Baxi has launched Baxi MainEco, a new range of combi, system and heat-only boilers available exclusively from independent merchants.

Velux is returning to the SelfBuild & Improve Your Home Show in Ireland on 12 to 14 September.

Ariston Thermo has announced the acquisition of ATAG Verwarming, the Dutch boiler manufacturer represented in the UK by ATAG Heating.

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