The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has appointed David Harding as its first Public Affairs consultant for Wales.

This is the first in a series of BMF appointments designed to increase its political representation with the UK's devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Once all are in place Brett Amphlett, the BMF's policy and public affairs manager, will take responsibility for developing relationships with Westminster politicians and civil servants and other authorities in England. His enhanced role will embrace city regions around England, including those within the Northern Powerhouse.

Mr Harding has 40 years of experience as a communications professional specialising in public affairs, community relations, political lobbying and issues management. Based in Powys, he represents a number of other organisations in Wales including the Mineral Products Association, as well as almost 20 years' experience working for construction materials producer, Hanson.

BMF managing director John Newcomb said: "We are delighted to have David on board. Increasing our public affairs work in areas with devolved powers will become even more important in a post-Brexit environment. The breadth and depth of his experience will be invaluable in supporting and developing our public affairs work in Wales.

"This is one element of a three part localisation programme to build the BMF's regional presence throughout the UK in order to best serve members on their home ground. In addition to recruiting a dedicated public affairs resource within each of the three devolved administration areas, we are also employing more regional managers to engage with members and will be creating Centres of Excellence around the country. We will be announcing more details at Members' Day on 21 September.”