Start-ups and new entrepreneurs entering the door hardware industry are being targeted in a future-focused membership drive by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI).

A new membership category – enterprise membership – has been created for any business seeking support from the GAI, a body that represents the interests of the UK architectural ironmongery industry, including architectural ironmongers, wholesalers and manufacturers. Any business with a minimum of 12 months’ trading record can apply to join.

Maria Powell, president of the GAI, said: “Trade associations can quickly suffer and decay if they become just an old boys’ club. The Guild is not intending to fall into that trap – we have a vibrant and successful future ahead.

“We are here to provide support and encouragement to the new generations coming through, and I’m very excited by some of the businesses starting up with a genuine passion for the architectural ironmongery industry. This new enterprise membership offer tells these entrepreneurs that the Guild is as relevant to them as we are to the most established and prestigious brands in the market, and we can learn from each other.”

The GAI saw another increase in its membership numbers last year, including 30% of new applications coming from overseas. Two thirds of its members enjoy full membership, the rest are affiliate or associate members.