Kellaway Building Supplies, the Bristol independent builders merchant, welcomed local MP Dawn Primarolo to its business last Wednesday.
The MP, who is a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, visited the Ashton branch of Kellaway, to hear how they are responding to the tough trading conditions in the construction industry.
During the afternoon, hosted by branch manager Matt Hodge, Primarolo talked to staff about how they help both trade and retail customers to improve the thermal performance of buildings.
Kellaway sees a resurgence of home improvement work to tackle under-investment in buildings as a way to revitalise Bristol's economy. Managers believe there is pent-up demand in most types of housing - a demand which has been restricted by a lack of confidence and economic uncertainty.
The Ashton branch houses the company's product training centre.
Primarolo said: "I was delighted to come to Kellaway here in Ashton. Matt Hodge and his team are doing a great job, despite testing times. I was especially keen to see their in-house training, and hear from some of the staff as they gain practical knowledge of the products they sell. I congratulate Kellaway managers for sticking to their commitment to train and develop their staff".
Kellaway operations director, Sean Morgan, said: "Central to our future is helping people to have energy-saving work done to cut bills and save money. The last two winters were the coldest, most severe suffered since Kellaway began. For this reason alone, the drive to help local homeowners have work done to improve the thermal performance of homes is vital".
Kellaway sponsors the Bristol Green Doors project that seeks to persuade local people to carry out energy-saving makeovers by hearing from others who have completed such work. Open days are organised for the curious to go inside other people's homes to see for themselves what can be done to improve various housing types.
The visit was one of several organised by the BMF for members around the country, aimed at highlighting to MPs the role of builders merchants in the wider construction industry.
BMF Policy Manager, Brett Amphlett said: "The latest government statistics show total greenhouse gas emissions from homes only fell 3% in 2008-2009, compared to 1990. This means that despite subsidised insulation offers and millions of free CFL lightbulbs, households are responsible for about the same level as they were 20 years ago.
“We urge MPs like Dawn Primarolo to persuade their constituents to carry out energy-saving work to improve the thermal performance of homes & businesses to cut running costs and save money.”