Howarth Timber and Building Supplies has shown Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh, round its branch on Doncaster Road, Wakefield.
The visit was arranged by the Builders Merchants Federation as part of its industry and parliamentary programme to show MPs how the building materials’ supply chain delivers for local communities.
During the course of the visit, Creagh, who is currently serving as chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, met with long-serving branch manager David Storey, who provided an overview of Howarth Timber’s recently-completed investments to give the Howarth At Home kitchen, bedroom and bathroom showrooms a new look, making it easier to fulfil customer orders. She also discussed issues affecting the supply chain and the wider West Yorkshire economy.
The local MP also spoke to young people benefiting from Howarth Timber’s graduate scheme and discussed how the 177 year old business is evolving to meet today’s construction challenge with marketing and product development manager, Neale Brewster and managing director Nick Howarth. The latter said: : “This is a transformative time for the construction industry, with questions over the impact of Brexit and the skills gap, and the introduction of Clean Air Zones in cities in the north of England. All of these issues could have a significant impact on our business, and on the hundreds of small construction companies and contractors who rely on Howarth as their local merchant.
“As one of the companies in the local area that will be impacted by these changes, we were grateful that Mrs Creagh was able to accept our invitation to learn more about the vital role merchants play in creating jobs, providing training and supporting the construction sector.”
Creagh said: “It was wonderful to visit Howarth Timber, a fantastic family firm which employs 2000 people across the country and is at the cutting edge of the construction industry. I was delighted to learn of its contribution to not only Wakefield’s prosperity, but also the national economy.
“I pay tribute to Branch Manager, David Storey, and his amazing staff in helping customers with their projects. Better quality and more affordable housing is vital if we are to improve people’s lives locally. That is why I want to see a low carbon Industrial Strategy and properly-funded Growth Deal for Yorkshire.”