Independent builders merchant Benchmark Building Supplies has opened its sixth branch in Greater Manchester.
The new depot in Irlam opened on November 5 and gives the company a presence in Salford and western areas of Manchester.
Strategically situated outside the M60 the depot complements the existing branch network.
Market research highlighted Irlam as an area currently underserved by builders merchants and ideal for an independent merchant like Benchmark to move into.
Local contractor Jim Eley said “We were having to travel at least five miles to get to our nearest merchant, often with traffic problems in the morning. My lads were off site for over an hour. Benchmark’s stock levels and quality of service are just what the area needs”.
Company managing director Phill Brown thanked the council for their assistance in the process of finding the correct trading location based on the border between Irlam and Cadishead.
Benchmark intends to employ local people and has already created two brand new apprenticeship opportunities taken up by Irlam youngsters. Brown said: “Involvement in the BMF apprenticeship scheme has paid great dividends throughout the business and we now have over 10 apprentices coming through the ranks.”
Earlier this year Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the company to congratulate them on their work in addressing unemployment and creating apprenticeships.
Last week the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, also visited the Benchmark Green training academy in Oldham to see the work the company does in getting bona fide tradesmen accredited and ready for opportunities offered by the forthcoming Green Deal initiative.