The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has announced ACO Academy as the main sponsor for Members Day, and confirmed 'Accelerating Growth' as the theme for this year's event, which takes place on 16 and 17 September at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.

This is the first time Members Day has been supported by a headline sponsor and it also marks a new look for the BMF Awards Dinner on the first evening. This becomes the BMF / ACO Academy Awards, a glittering black tie event to recognise the industry's outstanding apprentices and young achievers.

BMF managing director John Newcomb said: "We are delighted to secure our first ever headline sponsor for Members Day; it's a sign of the high esteem that the event is now held in. This year's theme, Accelerating Growth, does not just refer to company growth, it's about the growth of the people working in the industry too. I know ACO are just as passionate as the BMF in supporting continuous personal development and I'm looking forward to a sparkling Awards Night, celebrating individual achievements throughout the year, as well as an informative conference with an array of thought-provoking speakers."

Richard Hill, managing director of ACO Technologies, added: "We continue to work closely with the merchant sector ensuring that their knowledge on product and relevant industry legislation is to the highest standard. Our sponsorship shows our commitment to this industry and our growing confidence in the growth potential of the economy - we look forward to working with the BMF to make this the best Members Day yet."

ACO Academy is a training facility offering builders' merchants and their employees the chance to make use of a full range of training options for maximum flexibility. These include online modules which cover ACO's product range and relevant legislation, in addition to training days at both ACO's head office and within merchant branches themselves. Here, merchants and their employees can benefit from full product training in addition to understanding the opportunities for value added sales and gaining skills on trading up.

The BMF has already announced Lord Wolfson, CEO of Footsie 100 company Next, as a VIP guest at the Awards night and a keynote speaker for the business programme on the following day. More distinguished names attending both the Awards night and speaking at the Conference will be announced over the next two months.