The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has appointed David Harding as the Federation’s first Public Affairs consultant for Wales.
This is the first in a series of key appointments by the BMF designed to increase its political representation with the UK’s devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Once all are in place, Brett Amphlett, the BMF’s Policy & Public Affairs Manager will take responsibility for developing relationships with Westminster politicians and civil servants and other authorities in England. His enhanced role will embrace city regions around England, including those within the Northern Powerhouse.
David Harding (pictured above) has 40 years of experience as a communications professional specialising in public affairs, community relations, political lobbying and issues management. Based in Powys, he represents a number of other organisations in Wales including the Mineral Products Association, as well as almost 20 years working for construction materials producer, Hanson. David’s experience and local knowledge will help the BMF to develop a regular dialogue with Welsh Assembly members and departmental officers.
BMF MD John Newcomb said: “We are delighted to have David on board. Increasing our public affairs work in areas with devolved powers will become even more important in a post-Brexit environment. The breadth and depth of David’s experience will be invaluable in supporting and developing our public affairs work in Wales.
“This is one element of a three part localisation programme to build the BMF’s regional presence throughout the UK in order to best serve members on their home ground. In addition to recruiting a dedicated public affairs resource within each of the three devolved administration areas, we are also employing more Regional Managers to engage with members and will be creating Centres of Excellence around the country. We will be announcing more details at Members’ Day on 21 September.”
It has also been announced that VIP Polymers has recently joined the BMF as a supplier member. The UK based rubber manufacturer is a global provider of sealing solutions and it manufactures products within the pipeline, tunnel and rail industries. Many of their products are used by OEM pipe manufacturers, however merchants are an important and vital route to market for the range of VIPSeal™ flexible couplings and other VIP branded products in the future.
Its Commercial Director, Jon Crean, said: “Merchants play a key role as a route to market for our products, notably the VIPSeal™ range of flexible couplings and we believe that it’s important for us to work closely with them so that we can understand their needs and ultimately provide a high level of service to the industry and end user.
“Being a supplier member of the BMF allows us to share knowledge and aid merchants through marketing and technical support and we believe that being a member of the BMF will help make it easier for merchants to do business with us. Our current strategy involves new product developments and distributor networks are central to that strategy.”