With its own history in wood products stretching back over 100 years, IoBM member Snows Timber is asking merchant customers to share pictures of any summer-time wood history ‘finds’ through @SnowsTimber on Twitter, celebrating the fascinating world of wood.

Andy Jones, Sales Director at Snows Timber, commented: “We’re launching this campaign to tie in with a great piece of wood history that’s re-opening today: the new Mary Rose ship museum on Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

“Henry VIII’s Mary Rose sank on the 19th July 1545. Its rediscovery shows how many different uses there were for wood products in times past. We’d like customers to share their wood history ‘finds’ during the summer.”

Merchants that take part will receive a copy of the special publication: ‘The Mary Rose Revealed’. The photographic booklet charts the raising of the ship and the hundreds of artifacts found on board and now preserved. Snows Timber only has a limited number of copies however so participants should act fast.

Merchant customers can tweet their summer holiday wood history pictures to @SnowsTimber or e-mail them, with their permission to share online, to: The photo share will continue until the end of August.









The Institute of Builders Merchants (IOBM) fully endorses the position of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) that firms unwilling to take on apprentices will lose out when the government’s new Apprenticeship Levy comes into effect in April.

The scheme will reinvest 0.5 per cent of staff spending into apprenticeships via PAYE for all companies with a payroll of more than £3 million. A recent BMF survey has found 92% of merchants required to pay the levy have no plans to take on additional apprentices, meaning they’ll see no return on their contribution.

The policy is central to the government’s push to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. The apprenticeships will be funded through training credits or vouchers, to use on government-approved training courses with an additional £15,000 allowance provided to spend on extra training.

The same BMF survey found the industry is still divided over apprentices, with just more than half (51%) of firms currently employing at least one apprentice, a similar amount (49%) have none on the books. The average BMF member employs 14 apprentices a year and the sector is expected to take on 1,000 more in the next two years.

Allan Durning, President of IOBM commented: “We wholeheartedly share the concern of the BMF that the overall effect of the new apprenticeship levy will be negative if firms in the industry are unwilling to bring on additional apprentices.

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to blood new talent and remain a great option for employers. It’s important those that are required to contribute reap the rewards of the scheme and this can only be achieved by recruiting apprentices. 

“This scheme must be viewed as an incentive to create new apprenticeships and not just an additional employment tax imposed by the government. The research carried out by the BMF provides enough grounds for concern that this is not the case. We must see a change in mind-set before our industry misses out and the money is spent elsewhere.”






In a first for the merchant industry, the Builders Merchants Federation will have its own branded BMF Pavilion at UK Construction Week 2016 at the NEC from 18-23 October (trade only days 18-20 October).

The BMF is working with exhibition organisers, Media 10, to provide the right platform to bring merchants and suppliers together to find out more about the latest products and new technology and building techniques coming on stream. 

The BMF Pavilion will be sited across the Build Show and HVAC areas of the exhibition, which features nine separate shows in total, including Grand Designs Live. Exhibition space within the BMF Pavilion will be reserved for BMF members, who will benefit from a substantial 25% discount.

By working with a broad range of industry associations, like the BMF, the organisers are making the event relevant to as many people as possible, giving them multiple reasons to attend. In its first year, 2015, UK Construction Week attracted 24,000 construction professionals, demonstrating the industry’s appetite for a major annual event that combines exhibitor space with education seminars, workshops and relaxed networking opportunities.

 Nathan Garnett, Event Director of UK Construction Week said: “We are delighted to be working with the BMF. Last year UK Construction Week attracted 500 merchants. With the help of the BMF we believe we can multiply this number greatly. We are committed to making UK Construction Week the largest collection of innovative exhibitors, products, new buildings, materials and techniques. Working with industry experts, associations and thought leaders, such as the BMF, is a crucial element of that intent.”

The BMF has contracted its former marketing manager, Christine Harding, to manage exhibition space within the BMF Pavilion. For further information, or to reserve exhibition space within the BMF Pavilion at UK Construction Week 2016, please contact Chris Harding at or Nathan Garnett at or call 0203 225 5248.







Supporting both suppliers and individuals within the merchant industry, the Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) is pleased to welcome nine new members from Hevey Building Supplies into its ranks.

During a period of renewed leadership and strategy, the IoBM has benefitted from steady growth in recent months. Alan Durning, President of the IoBM, commented: “It am always encouraged when new individuals join the institute as it points towards an increasing professionalism and a desire to progress within the industry. As the construction sector seeks to attract new blood by offering rewarding career opportunities, it is our hope that the institute can be a clear beacon to those looking for clear paths of progression.”


The new members, all from Hevey’s Northampton branch, include: Mark Mulvey, Managing Director; Neil Hemmington, Chairman; Michael McGukin, Sales Director; David Wright, Branch Director; Sam Richards, Sales Office Manager; Chris Matthews, Civils Supervisor; Declan Gavin, Operations Manager; Jason Bradshaw, Timber Manager and Paul Landors, Branch Manager.

Mark Mulvey, said: “As I started out in the industry, membership with an institute was a mark of professionalism and capability and it is our intention that this continues to be the case for our employees. I am privileged to have such an experienced team and I hope that their new membership to the IoBM can be a valuable tool to further their careers.”

The IoBM welcomes members at every level within the industry, from yard operative to upper-management and has a range of unique benefits to offer both individuals and suppliers. For further information about the Institute of Builders Merchants or to enquire about becoming a member please visit






The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) is pleased to announce that two of its governors have been appointed as Vice President and Junior Vice President to help the institute reach new heights; Mark Terry and Catherine Towns.

With a combined experience of over 40 years within the construction industry, both Mark and Catherine will bring a wealth of knowledge to their roles – helping to deliver the IoBM’s new agenda of professional development and drive membership uptake.  

Mark started his career in construction as an apprentice builder before he moved over to the sales and management side of the sector. Nowadays, Mark is the National Sales Manager of Howarth Timber and Building Supplies Ltd: “Having been appointed as the Vice President of the IoBM, I am looking forward to working closely with Allan, Catherine and the rest of the board of governors to turn the institute’s ambitions and ideas into reality. We want to be able to provide training and support to all those within the merchant trade – no matter what their position is.”

Catherine is the PR and Client Services Director at CIB Comms, a full service B2B agency that specialises in construction, and brings over 19 years of construction marketing experience to the IoBM: “I am delighted to have been appointed Junior Vice President of the IoBM and I hope that my knowledge of the construction industry will help the institute ramp up activity and find new ways to support merchants. Indeed, with the construction industry slowly picking back up, there’s no better time to engage with the merchant trade and provide them with a stable and clear career path.”

Allan Durning, President of the IoBM, commented: “With two of our well-respected governors taking up key appointments within the institute, plus the arrival of four new governors, the position of our team has been strengthened. This will undoubtedly, help the IoBM to achieve its future goals.”

The IoBM supports both suppliers and individuals within the merchant industry, offering professional career development and partnership opportunities.

For further information about the Institute of Builders Merchants please visit






Supporting both suppliers and individuals within the merchant industry, the Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) is pleased to welcome nine new members from the Parker Merchanting chain into its ranks.

Alan Durning, President of the IoBM, commented: “It’s always encouraging when new individuals join the institute and our strong membership is a good indication of the increasing professionalism within the industry. The support shown by Parker Merchanting is a welcome boost and we will endeavour to help our new members reach their full potential and lead rewarding careers.”

The new members include: Josh Beal, Websales Manager at the Seaford branch; Stephen Jones, Branch Manager at the Hastings branch; Aaron Axford, Direct Sales Manager at the Uckfield branch; James Lear, Plumbing Manager at the Seaford branch; Peter Veal, Branch Manager at the Hassocks branch; Richard Beal, Branch Manager at the Seaford branch; Keith Bateup, Branch Manager at the Worthing branch; Andrew Betchley, Branch Manager at the Uckfield branch and Jamie Pearce, Marketing Manager for Parkers Building Supplies in Uckfield and Chairman of the BMF Young Merchants Group.

The IoBM is working towards providing the best resources for career development to its members and has recently launched an online training portal to enhance its service offering. The portal hosts links and training information from the institute’s supply partners and has received positive feedback from members looking to enhance their expertise.

For further information about the Institute of Builders Merchants please visit






The Institute of Builders Merchants (IoBM) is gearing up for a year of growth and increased engagement with the election of a new president. Allan Durning, Director of Timber Buying Group Ltd, will be taking the place of Steve Sellick, who has held the role for the past 2 years.

Speaking about the future direction of the IoBM and his plans as president, Allan commented: “It’s a great honour to be elected as the new president and I want to thank Steve for all the work he has done in getting the institute to where it is in the industry. The coming year will see the institute ramping up activity in support of its members and the beginning of some new initiatives.

“Notably, we are keen to engage with professionals at every level within the industry, from the yard operative to upper-management. We will be looking at what best practice looks like, in all its forms. As part of this, we will be working more closely with other organisations within our industry. In particular, we will be partnering with the Builders Merchant Federation to accredit training.

“The institute will of course continue doing what it does well. The increasingly popular Practical Building Skills Challenge will take place later this year and we will continue to add the latest information to our online training portal, which is proving to be a well used resource amongst our members.”

The announcement comes shortly after the news that the IoBM board of governors is being strengthened with the addition of five new members. The IoBM’s robust new leadership structure will work to support the increased activity of the institute moving forwards.

The IoBM supports both suppliers and individuals within the merchant industry, offering professional career development and partnership opportunities.

For further information about the Institute of Builders Merchants please visit