At the open day for the BMF’s new Coventry HQ building, chairman Terry Parker introduced the official proceedings by reflecting on the past and looking to the future.
Mr Parker said: “This is a very important day for me as I feel it marks the closing of one chapter and the opening of another in the 100-year history of the BMF. Throughout that time the organisation has been based in London. With this move to Coventry we are moving to the centre of our industry and our country, and making it easier for our members to visit us.
“We started this route about 18 months ago when the board approved the plans in outline following a strategy review. Over the following months we have changed to a limited company, sold our old HQ, searched for property, and carried out a refit of this magnificent new base here in Elliott Court. I personally have been pretty involved in all of this and I for one am very pleased and proud to see it come to fruition today.”
BMF managing director John Newcomb gave his personal thanks to all the suppliers who provided products and systems for the building, either free of charge or at cost. The companies who contributed are:
Mr Newcomb said: “It was always my wish, where possible, that we used our members’ products in the refurbishment of this building, that we purchased UK manufactured furniture and that we sourced all of our building materials from our merchant members. I’m particularly grateful to those companies that assisted us by supplying their products either free of charge or at cost.
“I would also like to thank John A Stephens and Lorcan Anglin from the Green Energy Centre who helped make this building far more energy efficient. The combined effect of the sustainable products and systems they installed – including LED lighting, Solar PV and an A-rated boiler - will reduce our energy usage by 30 percent and defray our total energy costs by 75 percent.
“And last but not least, I must thank Danny Kingston from Parker Ceilings who turned our vision of what this building should look like into a reality.”
Mr Newcomb also thanked Mr Parker and other board members for their vision and ambition for the BMF to succeed, and for giving him the opportunity to lead the BMF into the next chapter of its history.
The official opening was conducted by rugby figure Martin Johnson – the ex-Leicester Tigers and England captain, who was born less than 13 miles from the BMF’s new office – and the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor Tim Sawdon. Andrew Day, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants, and Coventry’s Lady Mayoress Mrs Nicky Sawdon, were also present together with over 150 invited guests.