Howarth Timber and Building Supplies recently welcomed Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh, to its branch on Doncaster Road, Wakefield, to learn about how merchants deliver for their communities - and to discuss issues affecting the supply chain and the wider West Yorkshire economy.

During the course of the visit, Mary, who is currently serving as chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, met with long-serving branch manager David Storey, who provided an overview of Howarth Timber’s recently-completed investments to give the Howarth At Home kitchen, bedroom and bathroom showrooms a new look, making it easier to fulfil customer orders.

The local MP also spoke to young people benefiting from Howarth Timber’s graduate scheme and discussed how the 177-year-old business is evolving to meet today’s construction challenge with Managing Director Nick Howarth and Marketing and Product Development Manager, Neale Brewster.

Touring the two and a quarter acre site, Mary said: “It was wonderful to visit Howarth Timber, a fantastic family firm which employs 2,000 people across the country and is at the cutting edge of the construction industry. I was delighted to learn of its contribution to not only Wakefield’s prosperity, but also the national economy.

“I pay tribute to Branch Manager, David Storey, and his amazing staff in helping customers with their projects. Better quality and more affordable housing is vital if we are to improve people’s lives locally. That is why I want to see a low carbon Industrial Strategy and properly-funded Growth Deal for Yorkshire.”

Commenting on the visit, Nick, added: “This is a transformative time for the construction industry, with questions over the impact of Brexit and the skills gap, and the introduction of Clean Air Zones in cities in the north of England. All of these issues could have a significant impact on our business, and on the hundreds of small construction companies and contractors who rely on Howarth as their local merchant.

“As one of the companies in the local area that will be impacted by these changes, we were grateful that Mrs Creagh was able to accept our invitation to learn more about the vital role merchants play in creating jobs, providing training and supporting the construction sector.”

On her visit, Mary heard the latest Builders Merchants’ Federation’s (BMF) economic data showing that UK sales were up at 5.3% in 2017 Quarter 2, compared to the same time in 2016.

The visit was another arranged by the Federation as part of its industry and parliamentary programme. The BMF takes MPs to visit merchants in their constituency to see how the building materials’ supply chain delivers for local communities.

Picture caption: Left to right: Managing Director of Howarth Timber Nick Howarth, MP Mary Creagh, Branch Manager David Storey and Howarth Timber’s Marketing Manager Neale Brewster.