The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, visited Dumfries Timber Company Group on 6 April to discuss the role of builders’ merchants in the construction supply chain and the wider economy.

Mr Mundell heard how builders’, plumbers’ and timber merchants supply everyday trade essentials and value-added products to both trade and retail customers.

Dumfries Timber Company Group hosted the visit on behalf of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

As an independently owned group of businesses, Dumfries Timber Company Group will be opening a new home improvement centre in the town, which includes a 3,000 sq ft kitchen and fitted bedroom showroom.

During the visit, Mr Mundell met with staff and discussed careers in construction and merchanting. He heard about recent initiatives to take on more apprenticeships and attract young people into the industry.

The Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon David Mundell MP, said: "I was delighted to pay a visit to Dumfries Timber Group to show my support for the work they do. Donald and his team are running a fantastic operation and they are making significant investment in the local area as well as taking on apprentices. The building and construction trades continue to play a key role across this region and Dumfries Timber Group are at the heart of this."

Donald Young, managing director of Dumfries Timber Company Group, added: "Nine years ago, Dumfries Timber Group was a fledgling business with just six employees. Over time, we have expanded our operation in Dumfries and Irvine. We were pleased to welcome the Minister to our timber and building materials' business in our home town, and showed him that merchanting offers rewarding, long-term career opportunities. We shall continue to invest in our people, premises and products to serve customers throughout South Western Scotland."

Brett Amphlett, policy and public affairs manager at the BMF, concluded: “Builders' merchants represent 10% of the total construction output in the UK, and local merchants such as Dumfries Timber Company Group play a huge part in local economy by providing employment and offering credit to local builders. The BMF is delighted that the Minister has recognised the importance of our sector in his visit today.”