The Buildbase Lincoln branch is growing its business locally to meet the demands of a changing market for regional building and maintenance work.

This was the message conveyed to visiting Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis MP, hosted by the company at its Canwick Road location in the city on Thursday 12 March.

The branch occupies an 11-acre site, employs 85 people, and serves the local and regional housebuilding, maintenance, repairs and improvements market. The business, founded in Lincoln in 1946, was acquired by Buildbase in 2003 when it was known as Jacksons.

Buildbase – whose managing director, Kate Tinsley, was among the senior team to meet the Minister – was keen to discuss a number of construction-related issues including housing demand and supply, planning and development, self and custom building, environmental performance in homes, finance for building companies, and future skills development, including apprenticeships.

Lyndon Johnson, divisional director for the eastern division at Buildbase, also briefed the Minister on the company’s trading performance in the region and planned investment.

Mr Johnson said: “Along with growing our business in Lincoln to support the changing needs of the building, plumbing and electrical trades, we are working hard to show that merchanting offers a raft of long-term career opportunities. Therefore, we are investing in apprentices – six in Lincolnshire and 30 across Buildbase nationally – and in developing our team’s skills and expertise through training.

“We are responding to a shortage in professional delivery drivers by training our existing staff in Lincoln, many of whom have been with us for at least 10 years and some who have reached a quarter century or more with the business.

“To continue providing what the building trades need in this area, we are now including new products and services from within our Group. Electrical contractors can now access our Electricbase business and builders can obtain steel and concrete lintels through Buildbase Lintels, both at our Lincoln site. The modern tradesperson wants the combination of internet buying and in-branch collection and we are adapting our business for those requirements.”

Brandon Lewis MP added: “I was delighted to visit Buildbase and see for myself how it is playing a critical role in helping deliver new homes, and making improvements to existing properties.

“Housebuilding is a key part of our long-term economic plan, with schemes like Help to Buy supporting people who want to get on the property ladder, and creating jobs across the country. It means since 2010 nearly 204,000 households have been able to buy or reserve a home through government-backed schemes.

“I was pleased to see how Buildbase is taking on apprentices in Lincoln, helping young people to take their first steps in a new career in construction.”

The visit was arranged by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) as part of its industry and parliamentary programme. The purpose is to support the BMF policy manifesto by taking MPs to merchants to see how the building materials’ supply chain delivers the materials needed, on a daily basis, for new housing and home improvement work.