Lord Newby, the government’s Treasury spokesman, recently visited Pochin’s Leicester showroom.

Mr Newby was on a fact-finding mission to Leicester with local councillor Zaffar Haq, to hear about the challenges facing SMEs seeking to grow and create jobs. He was welcomed to the William Street showroom alongside John Newcomb, managing director of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), who helped organise the visit.

The visit gave Pochin managing director David Pochin and Mr Newcomb an opportunity to discuss with Mr Newby the strength of the market in domestic RMI, the supply chain, apprenticeships, skills training and help for the regions to grow.

Pochin’s William Street branch has seen significant investment by the business. Pochin has also this year acquired the West Midlands plumbers’ merchant Plumbwares, and the company is set to be an active member of the BMF’s new plumbing and heating sector.

“I was most encouraged to hear about the growth in confidence in the market and how this is feeding through to greater sales at Pochin,” said Mr Newby. “This bodes well for a strong overall economic performance in 2014.”

Mr Pochin said: “I’m glad Lord Newby spent a day in Leicester meeting businesses. It’s important that the government hears first-hand about the constraints on SMEs and how they can be helped to expand and invest.”

Mr Newcomb added: “It’s good to see the government undertaking fact-finding missions in the regions and in our sector. Pochin is an excellent example of a company that has invested during the downturn and is now in a position to benefit from a growing market. While this is positive news, we also explained to Lord Newby the importance of continuing government investment in apprentice training to encourage young people into our industry.”