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Research from Travis Perkins has revealed the importance of apprenticeships to homeowners.

Seventy percent of UK homeowners believe that building firms with a turnover of more than £500,000 should be required to take on an apprentice each year, according to recent research conducted by the Travis Perkins Group.

h&b's 'speed dating' sessions allowed merchants and suppliers to engage in several productive meetings.

Martin Mansfield, commercial manager of independent merchants’ group h&b, and Michelle Cronje and Bernie Bates from the NMBS, recently arranged nearly 1,800 ‘dates’ between h&b members and suppliers at three special ‘Supplier Business Development’ days.

Huws Gray's Warrington brick centre.

The recent housing revival has faced brick producers with the challenge of meeting the surge in demand, confronting builders’ merchants and developers with potential lead times of up to six months.

Government must urgently push ahead with plans to ensure all new non-domestic buildings are built to zero-carbon standards from 2019, a report from a UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) industry task group has warned today (27 February).

A combination of key retail visitors, a bigger show with plenty of fresh content and positive messages from industry commentators about the future, combined to give this year’s Totally Shows a real lift.

A new buying group has been born. The Independent Plumbing Group (IPG) was launched on 2 January with just a few members and suppliers, but is already building fast.

Plumb and Parts Center is calling on the government to extend tough laws on audible carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to the whole of the UK, ahead of its annual Wise up to CO campaign.

Jewson has officially been awarded Business Superbrand status for 2014.

Concrete and paving manufacturer Kilsaran International has set up a brand new division to specialise in the external wall insulation market.

Deepings hosted 20 trade customers and 16 staff in a series of Grand Prix-style heats.

Lincolnshire-based builders' merchant Deepings Building & Plumbing Supplies has held a successful teambuilding event for staff and key customers at Teamworks Karting in Peterborough.

Wolseley UK’s 2014 Management Training programme is now open for applications.

The RNLI has been assisting those affected by the floods.

Toolstation has held a major fundraising day to assist the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) Flood Rescue Team – a highly trained unit which specialises in search and rescue work in fast-moving flood water across the UK.

The hire service of Travis Perkins has launched a range of waste management solutions.

Martin Dickie.

Door manufacturer Masonite International has bought Door-Stop International.

Jewson's donation of sandbags has helped protect Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary.

Jewson has donated sandbags to the Nuneaton Wildlife Sanctuary after the recent wet weather resulted in flooding.

A team from Ridgeons has won this year’s Institute of Builders Merchants (IOBM) Practical Skills Challenge.

Keyline has chosen Marshalls as Supplier of the Year at its annual conference held earlier this month.

Alan Baxter said "the generic brick has demonstrated its continued relevance in this era of sustainable construction".

The Brick Development Association’s (BDA) generic brick has been awarded an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), following a Life Cycle Assessment carried out by the BRE for Sustainable Products.

David Richardson with his new van and (from left) Hanson Cement brand manager Robert Townsend, national account manager Andy Simpson, account manager Clare Dyson, area sales manager Philip Matthew and MKM branch director Ian Kirby.

Builder David Richardson, a regular customer at MKM in North Hykeham, Lincoln, has won a £15,000 Ford Transit 2.2tdci van in a national competition run by building materials company Hanson.

Simon Bicknell, group sales director at Toolbank with John Newcomb, managing director of the BMF.

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) demonstrated its intent to make it the “go to” trade body for every sector of the merchanting industry while exhibiting at the Totally Tools show at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry this month.

Mike Leeming and Nick Lander of Bradstone, and Ben Shephard.

Bradstone announced significant 2014 investment plans at its first national conference for Bradstone Assured installers at St George’s Park, Burton-on-Trent this month.

Darren Newbury collecting his award from Kieran Griffin and comedian Marcus Brigstocke.

Keyline has named its Milton Keynes site as Branch of the Year, after it recorded a huge year-on-year growth in sales for 2013.

Selco's Deepesh Makwana is planning a holiday after winning vouchers in the Selco Predictor competition.

A trade counter sales advisor from Selco Builders Warehouse is celebrating after winning £1,000 worth of holiday vouchers.

David Pochin, Lord Newby, John Newcomb and Zaffar Haq at the Pochin showroom.

Lord Newby, the government’s Treasury spokesman, recently visited Pochin’s Leicester showroom.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has called on the government to tackle poor payment practices between businesses by enforcing the Late Payment Code.

NIBE’s full range of heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar thermal systems will now be available from Travis Perkins.

NIBE Energy Systems has significantly increased its distribution of renewable heating technologies, following a new agreement with the Travis Perkins Group.

The Exeter branch of RGB Building Supplies is inviting local tradespeople to its free demonstration morning on Thursday 27 February.

Ru Butler, Peppard's sales and marketing director.

Peppard Building Supplies is strengthening its web presence after reporting a sharp rise in traffic.

Paul Wakefield, Greg Barker and Claire Perry.

Greg Barker, Minister of Energy & Climate Change, recently toured Grant Engineering UK, where he also announced an additional £150,000 of funding for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) voucher training scheme.

Yeovil Buildbase yardman Ryan Stanley fills sandbags with branch manager Kyle Chesterman.

Builders’ merchant Buildbase is working with its network of suppliers and customers to donate urgent flood relief to Somerset residents.

Princess Anne will be visiting Kent Blaxill in Colchester on 20 March, it has been confirmed in the Royal Diary.

Lafarge Tarmac took home a prize last night at the Marketing Excellence Awards, hosted by the Chartered Institute for Marketing.

Left to right: Paul Read, John Brett and John Newcomb.

Six months after agreeing its first group membership scheme with IBC, the Builders Merchants Federation celebrated the 50th IBC member – Highland Industrial Supplies – joining the Federation, by presenting the buying group with a framed British Lions rugby shirt signed by Austin Healey.

Assistant manager John Wickwar (left) with manager Jon Griffiths from TG Builders Merchants, Oswestry.

With the threat of more severe flooding in the Welshpool and Oswestry areas, the Tudor Griffiths Group is offering 40 tonnes of free sand to local householders so that they may try to protect their properties with sandbags.

Spring is the traditional time for having a clear-out, and Steve Clarke, marketing manager for The Fuelcard People, has said that builders’ merchants should begin with their old fuel cards.

L-r: John Stevenson, George Osborne and Tony Hackney.

BSW Timber is to create up to 60 new operational jobs at its sawmills in Carlisle and Dalbeattie as demand for UK timber rises.

Baxi’s warranty terms and conditions have been given the Crystal Mark seal of approval.

New for 2014, Ridgeons is offering the new bathroom collection from Laura Ashley.

Mike Rigby, managing director of MRA Marketing.

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) has invited MRA Marketing’s Mike Rigby to give a masterclass on marketing and merchandising at its first Branch Managers’ Forum.

Following approval from the Belgium Competition Authority, Grafton Group has acquired Binje Ackermans SA, a six branch builders’ merchanting business.

Jay Pickup of Howarth Timber and Building Supplies.

Howarth Timber and Building Supplies is continuing to invest in sustainability, having trained ‘Green Champions’ in each of its 28 branches across England.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey is being called on to "overhaul" the way the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme is administered.

Knauf Insulation has joined the Sustainable Energy Association to take an active role in developing the policies that matter to the energy-efficiency and low-carbon sectors.

Independent brickmaker Edenhall has stepped up production of its Engineering Quality concrete bricks as clay brick makers struggle to satisfy demand for Class B engineering bricks from merchants, housebuilders and groundworkers in the civils sector.

The Norbord Inverness plant in Scotland.

Norbord has submitted a notice of intent for a planning application to Highland Council for a major investment in its OSB (oriented strand board) manufacturing site at Morayhill, near Inverness, Scotland.

Last month (16 January) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited Triton – The Great British Shower Company in Nuneaton.

The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) has announced the merchant teams that will be taking part in this year’s Practical Skills Challenge Event.

Burge & Gunson has become a member of Fortis Merchants with effect from 1 February 2014.

RGB Building Supplies is inviting those interested in finding out about new ways to cut household energy bills to visit some of its branches for demonstrations of the new iT500 internet enabled thermostat from Salus representatives.

Ted Tugwell, tool sales manager at Elliotts Builders' Merchants in Hampshire, is working to raise awareness of cervical cancer after his wife, Angela, passed away from the disease. 

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