Construction key to economic recovery, says FMB
14 May 2012
Following the news that the UK has slipped back into recession, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called for the government to introduce a number of reforms in the construction sector in order to encourage growth.
On April 26, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the country’s gross domestic product had fallen by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012. Previous estimates had predicted an increase of 0.1%.
In response Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said that several measures – including VAT cuts for property repairs, increased bank lending for construction firms and incentives to drive private domestic retrofitting – would help create jobs and stimulate the economy.
“The government will find it very difficult to get sustained growth in the economy while the construction industry remains depressed,” he said.
“Construction is essential to the wellbeing of the wider economy because of the variety and quantity of job its creates from apprentice bricklayers to world leading architects. Every £1.00 spent on construction generates £2.84 in the wider economy which makes it the best investment the government can make to get Britain back on its feet.”
“It’s a sad fact that the building industry has been in recession for four years with little hope of any immediate recovery. Until we get builders building again the economy is not going to recover,” he added.
Britannia buys Launa Windows
09 May 2012
Devon’s Launa Windows has been acquired as a going concern by Bristol-based Britannia Windows following its move into administration late last month.
On April 26 Launahurst Ltd, which trades as Launa Windows, announced that 60 of its 70 direct and self-employed staff hade been made redundant with immediate effect due to the decision. The contracts of a further 12 subcontractors, who mainly carried out fitting work for the firm, were also terminated.
Despite a turnover of £5 million in 2011, the company cited the economic downturn and increasing costs as the reasons for its difficulties.
“Having experienced four previous recessions and endured numerous other boom then down-turn periods resiliently throughout the company’s lifespan, it is with sincere regret that we have now unexpectedly tripped at this late stage,"
said managing director Jonathan Hewitt at the time.
However, on May 3 it was confirmed that Britannia had agreed to purchase the whole business, including all buildings and machinery. It is unclear whether the company’s former employees will be rehired.
Launa Windows was founded in 1974 and is a market leader in uPVC windows, conservatories and doors in the South West of England.
Ultraframe seals Quantal deal
04 May 2012
Ultraframe has bought Newton Abbott-based firm Quantal in what it described as a bid to further secure its position as the UK’s number one conservatory roof manufacturer.
In a statement on May 1, Ultraframe managing director Iain Thomson said that the deal strengthens the company’s market position, and will allow both firms to benefit from increased economies of scale. No financial details were given.
Quantal is a leading supplier of aluminium conservatory roofs, and holds a number of patents for its products.
“Quantal is a strong player in the specialist roof end of the market and has real strength in its customer base with many loyal customers. Quantal customers will now be able to access the market-leading R&D capability of Ultraframe and we will be able to expand our portfolio of systems through new channels,” he added.
“These are exciting times and as a business we continue to lead the industry to deliver highly-innovative, quality systems to our customers – adding Quantal into the mix only strengthens our position.”
Thomson went on to say that it will be ‘business as usual’ for customers of the two companies in the near future, with no orders likely to be affected.