Board changes to build on drive for greener homes

A Midlands trade body, which represents a multi-billion-pound slice of the UK construction industry, is building on strong foundations with the appointment of two prominent business leaders to its Board.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), which has its headquarters in Coventry, has elected two new members, at a landmark moment in its history.

Frank Elkins, Chief Operating Officer at Travis Perkins plc, and Lee Harwood Group Finance Director at Bradfords Building Supplies Ltd, will step into their new roles as the BMF prepares to play a key role in shaping the future of greener housing across the country.

BMF Chairman, Richard Hill said: “We are delighted to welcome two excellent representatives of the BMF’s broad membership to the Board.

“The range of experience they offer will be extremely valuable as we move forward post-pandemic towards a low-carbon economy.”

The BMF is set to play a vital role in the national attempt to achieve net zero by 2050 through the National Retrofit Strategy set out by the Construction Leadership Council, which the trade body is a member of.

The strategy aims to improve existing housing stock to make homes greener by improving energy and water efficiency as well as making them warmer and cheaper to run.

The BMF’s role will be shaped by its Board, with new members Frank and Lee poised to build on the strong foundations laid by their predecessors.

Frank will take over from Andrew Harrison, who stepped down from the Board after his retirement from Travis Perkins Plumbing & Heating.

With more than 30 years of industry experience, Frank brings a passion for developing customer experience and raising standards in health, safety and wellbeing as well as encouraging a more diverse group of young people into the sector.

MKM’s Mark Smith retires in May after a second, three-year term as BMF Hon Treasurer. Lee will take up the role on June 1.

A former Royal Navy officer, Lee qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton and worked in a number of financial roles in the construction industry before he joined Bradfords Group in 2009. He was appointed Bradford’s Group Finance Director last year.

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, said: “As we move towards a greener economy, this is a landmark time for the BMF.

“Our members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes, to deliver significant improvements to air quality and energy use in their communities.

“I very much looking forward to working with the new Board members in driving forward the low-carbon agenda.

“I would also like to add my personal thanks to Andrew and Mark who are stepping down and whose advice and support I have greatly valued.”