Buildbase Lincoln, part of the one of the UK’s fastest-growing builders’ merchants, is growing its business locally to meet the demands of a changing market for regional building and maintenance work.
This was the message conveyed to visiting Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis MP, hosted by the company at its Canwick Road location in the city on Thursday 12 March.
The Buildbase Lincoln branch occupies an 11-acre site, employs 85 people and serves the local and regional housebuilding, maintenance, repairs and improvements market. The business, founded in Lincoln in 1946, was acquired by Buildbase in 2003 when it was known as Jacksons.
The company – whose managing director, Kate Tinsley, was among the senior team to meet the minister – was keen to discuss a number of construction-related issues including housing demand and supply, planning and development, self and custom building, environmental performance in homes, finance for building companies and future skills development, including apprenticeships.
Buildbase’s Lyndon Johnson, Divisional Director for the Eastern Division, also briefed the minister on the company’s trading performance in the region and planned investment.
Mr Johnson said: “Along with growing our business in Lincoln to support the changing needs of the building, plumbing and electrical trades, we are working hard to show that merchanting offers a raft of long-term career opportunities. Therefore we are investing in apprentices – six in Lincolnshire and 30 across Buildbase nationally – and in developing our team’s skills and expertise through training.
“We are responding to a shortage in professional delivery drivers by training our existing staff in Lincoln, many of whom have been with us for at least 10 years and some who have reached a quarter century or more with the business.
“To continue providing what the building trades need in this area, we are now including new products and services from within our Group. Electrical contractors can now access our Electricbase business and builders can obtain steel and concrete lintels through Buildbase Lintels, both at our Lincoln site. The modern tradesperson wants the combination of internet buying and in-branch collection and we are adapting our business for those requirements.”
Buildbase also supplies kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing products, civil engineering and ground works plus operating an equipment hire service from the Lincoln branch.
Brandon Lewis MP said: “I was delighted to visit Buildbase and see for myself how they are playing a critical role in helping deliver new homes, and making improvements to existing properties.
“Housebuilding is a key part of our long-term economic plan, with schemes like Help to Buy supporting people who want to get on the property ladder, and creating jobs across the country. It means since 2010 nearly 204,000 households have been helped to buy or reserve a home through Government-backed schemes.
“And I was pleased to see how Buildbase are taking on apprentices in Lincoln, helping young people to take their first steps in a new career in construction.”
The visit was arranged by the Builders’ Merchants Federation as part of its industry and parliamentary programme. The purpose is to support the BMF policy manifesto by taking MPs to merchants to see how the building materials’ supply chain delivers the materials needed, on a daily basis, for new housing and home improvement work.
Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis MP (centre), visits Buildbase Lincoln. Also pictured, left to right: Lathan Tuplin - branch manager; Kate Tinsley - Buildbase managing director; Lyndon Johnson – Buildbase divisional director – Eastern Division; Karl McCartney – MP for Lincoln; Brett Amphlett – policy and public affairs, Builders’ Merchants Federation.
Buildbase has once again been crowned National Builders’ Merchant of the Year at the prestigious annual Builders Merchants Awards for Excellence.
This is the second consecutive year that Buildbase has won the top award, which was presented by Ben Fogle at a glittering ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel. It marks the third time that the company has won the award in the last four years.
Buildbase was up against finalists Wolseley and Travis Perkins in the National Builders’ Merchant of the Year category, which recognises and rewards the merchant that has excelled in all areas of its business over the last year.
The judges commended Buildbase for their focus on core values and expanding stock ranges as well as developing the branch network with the opening of 20 Hirebase branches and 12 Electricbase branches across the UK. The judges also praised Buildbase for working hard to introduce a core range, which they believe is key to a merchant’s business and an area often overlooked.
Stephen Thompstone commented: “We’re delighted to receive this award again, which marks our continued genuine commitment to providing exceptional service to all our customers.
"Over the last 12 months we have expanded and improved our stock range, launched our specialist Electricbase offering and improved the branch network, while continually listening and responding to our customers. It’s been an exceptional year for us, and we are looking forward to a very positive 2014."
From left to right: Presenter Ben Fogle with Stephen Thompstone of Buildbase and Keith Ellis from category sponsor Hanson UK. 26 November 2013