Anne-Marie Trevelyan, prospective MP for Northumberland, was reminded that housing is not built and homes are not improved without the involvement of builders, plumbers and timber merchants, during a visit to North East builders merchant JT Dove yesterday (May 17).
Trevelyan was shown around the 148-year old business’ Berwick-Upon-Tweed branch by its managing director, Steve Robinson, and discussed the role, value and importance of merchants in creating local jobs and growth.
Robinson explained how the company is investing in its 17-strong branch network throughout the North East, Cumbria and Scottish Borders. He also raised several key issues facing the construction industry including housing demand & supply, vocational training and skills (especially apprentices), and the consequences of the vote to leave the European Union.
Touring the 4-acre site, Trevelyan said: “I was delighted to visit JT Dove here in the constituency and learn of their contribution to not only rural Northumberland’s prosperity, but also the wider North Eastern economy. I pay tribute to branch manager, Eddie Burness, and his team in helping customers with their building projects”.
“Housing and home-ownership are central to my Party’s thinking and our work on the Northern Powerhouse. I want to see a modern Industrial Strategy continue to succeed here in the North East. Boosting output and employment, educational achievement, and the quality of life in less-well performing parts of the country, compared to London and the South East, must continue to be our aim”.
Robinson is also Regional Chairman of the Builders Merchants’ Federation which arganised the visit and shared with Trevelyan the latest BMF economic data that shows sales figures across the UK in February were up nearly 8% in total, compared to the same time in 2016.
Robinson said: “I was grateful to Anne-Marie for taking time to come today and gain insight into our supply chain. We wanted to show her that builders’ merchants create meaningful jobs, at all levels, in every constituency. Apprentices are central to this and we want to see the next Government doing more to redress the parity of esteem between academic and vocational training”.