On 20 November, 2015, the Lancaster Hotel in London played host to over 600 key figures from across the UK builders’ merchant industry for the annual Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence.

A prestigious event that has become an established networking date in the calendar, the 14th Builders’ Merchants Awards celebrated excellence across the industry, highlighting some of the most successful and resourceful merchants and suppliers from across the country.

This year’s worthy winners were:

  • Website & Digital Initiative of the Year: Parker Building Supplies
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year: Carvers (Wolverhampton)
  • Rob Simpson Training Initiative of the Year: LBS Builders Merchants
  • Best Customer Service of the Year: City Heating Spares
  • Hard Landscaping Display of the Year: George Bence Group
  • Heating and Plumbing Merchant of the Year: Plumbase
  • Independent Builders' Merchant of the Year (1 - 5 branches): George Bence Group
  • Independent Builders' Merchant of the Year (6+ branches): LBS Builders Merchants
  • Most Environmental Merchant Business of the Year: EH Smith Builders Merchant
  • Showroom of the Year: George Bence Group’s 'Obsidian Kitchens & Bathrooms' brand
  • National Builders' Merchant of the Year: Buildbase
  • Tool Showroom of the Year: Gardner & Scardifield
  • Timber Centre of the Year: Ridgeons
  • Supplier of the Year: Knauf Insulation
  • Trainee of the Year: Nasima Begum, Gibbs & Dandy
  • Achiever of the Year: Paul Bence, George Bence Group
  • Branch Manager of the Year: Gareth Bolam, Buttle's
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Malcolm Aldridge.

The 18 categories announced on the day gave every sector of the industry their chance to stand in the spotlight. All the nominations were again of a very high standard, leaving the judging panel, in many cases, with some very difficult decisions to make.

Speaking at the event, Jennie Ward, chair of the judging panel, said: ““Despite the uncertainty in the building industry, there are still an army of hardworking merchants out there who are dedicated to developing their businesses and campaigning tirelessly for the industry as a whole.

“Nowhere was this more clearly reflected than in the nominations we received this year, and everyone who submitted an entry should be incredibly proud of their achievements, with particular congratulations to all the winners and finalists.”

Hosting the Builders’ Merchants Awards for Excellence was actor, presenter and comedian Tim Vine, who entertained the assembled guests and presented each award to the worthy winners.