The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has opened its first Regional Centre of Excellence in Scotland. This is part of a localisation programme designed to strengthen the organisation's regional presence and add to the support it offers members in their geographic area.

The BMF is establishing up to 24 Centres of Excellence, two in each of its twelve regions, in the coming months.

The first BMF Scotland Centre of Excellence opened at Norbord in Stirling. Panel product manufacturer Norbord's offices will be used as a regional hub and centre for BMF training in Scotland. As such, it will host regional meetings and forums as well as training courses for members in that area. The next BMF Scotland Regional Meeting will be held there in the Spring of 2017.

The first Centre of Excellence in England opened at John A Stephens in Nottingham on 31 August. Further sites for the centres have already been identified across the UK, with more details being announced at Members Day on 21 September.

BMF managing director John Newcomb said: "We have been working with members to identify appropriate spaces as regional hubs where local groups can come together for meetings and training. Norbord's Regional Centre of Excellence is a superb example and I'm sure it will play an important role in servicing the needs of our members in Scotland."

Maurice Fitzgibbon, sales director of Norbord, said: "We are delighted that Norbord has been selected as the first BMF Centre of Excellence in Scotland. I think it will be extremely useful for members to meet locally on a regular basis and I look forward to welcoming them."

Mr Newcomb added: "There are a further six Centres of Excellence ready to launch during the Autumn, with others following in 2017. We have also increased our team of Regional Managers, with five now covering the country. Localisation is an important strategy for the BMF going forward. With a network of Regional Centres of Excellence alongside our enhanced Regional Management team we are in an excellent position to engage with our growing membership on their home ground."