Leading manufacturers and merchants descended upon The Brewery, London on Friday 17 May for one of the most hotly-anticipated fixtures on the builder’s merchants’ calendar: the BMJ Industry Awards.

The awards, organised by Builders Merchants Journal (BMJ) publisher Datateam Business Media, has garnered industry-wide praise since its launch in 2017 – largely due to the scheme’s unique format which sees all of the decision-making power placed in the hands of those that work in the sector day in, day out. The response to this year’s edition was phenomenal, with a record number of entries and over 3,000 professionals making their voices heard in the decision-making stage.

Enthusiasm for the scheme was at an all-time high as it reached its pinnacle. Hundreds of professionals turned out for the ceremony, which kicked off with an exclusive champagne reception sponsored by ACO Water Management before guests headed to their tables for a three course meal and the main event of the afternoon – the awards presentation itself.

BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Russell-Horne drove home the Awards’ ethos ahead of the presentation, commenting: “If an Englishman’s home is their castle, then you guys allow people like me to build our lives in those castles. I think that deserves to be celebrated, and celebrated often.”

Honouring innovative brands, outstanding merchants & incredible individuals

The task of revealing this year’s BMJ Industry Awards winners was placed in the very capable hands of one of the UK’s leading broadcasters and one of the most familiar faces of TV news, Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, thanks to ‘host’ sponsor Lakes.

In the merchant categories, Chandler Material Supplies enjoyed an afternoon full of success – picking up a hat trick of awards; Independent Merchant of the Year, Merchant Marketing Campaign of the Year (sponsored by Quinn Building Products) and Merchant Showroom of the Year.

Another multi-award winning company at the 2019 event was Howarth Timber & Building Supplies, which was honoured as the Timber Merchant of the Year before picking up the brand new Diversity Award (sponsored by Midland Lead).

The award for New Merchant of the Year was presented to Bence Roofing before the winner of the new Merchant Kitchen & Bathroom Showroom accolade was revealed to be Covers Timber & Builders Merchants. MKM was then revealed as the Multiple Merchant of the Year and the coveted National Merchant of the Year honour went to Travis Perkins.

As noted by Fiona Russell-Horne during her opening speech, “the finest merchants in the land can’t give gold standard-service without the best products to sell”. With this in mind, the BMJ Industry Awards also celebrated the most outstanding brands operating in the builders’ merchants sector.

The first ‘brand’ accolade to be presented during the ceremony was for Best Bathroom Brand – and Lakes picked up this prestigious gong for the second year in a row. A further three categories saw the last year’s winners retain their titles, with JG Speedfit continuing their reign as Best Plumbing Brand and  Keylite Roof Windows and Worcester Bosch securing the top spots in the Best Roofing Brand and Best Heating Brand categories respectively.

Knauf Insulation also took home an award, being recognised as the Best Heavyside Brand by the industry while NEFF UK was revealed to be the Best Kitchen Brand and the trophy for Best Landscaping Brand was presented to Pavestone UK. In the new Best Timber Brand category, Södra Wood was victorious while TIMco picked up the highly coveted Best Distributor Brand award.

Of course, a sector cannot thrive without an array of passionate and talented people at the helm – so the BMJ Industry Awards also celebrated the individuals whose day to day contributions are unrivalled.

SCA Wood UK’s Cheryl Wallace was recognised for her efforts, picking up the award for Best Customer Service before this year’s Independent Rising Star (sponsored by H+H) was revealed to be Sarah Daniel of RGB Building Supplies and the National Rising Star accolade (sponsored by ROCKWOOL) was presented to Rudridge’s Dave Rudd.

Pavestone UK picked up their second award of the afternoon, as Vicky Piercy was honoured as the Best Sales Representative before the last award of the ceremony, the coveted Industry Personality gong, was presented to Dai Thomas of LBS Builders Merchants.

The ceremony closed with an opportunity for guests to give a little back in the form of a charity fundraiser, sponsored by Pavestone UK. Guests donated generously in aid of the Pavestone Rally 2019 – which in turn raises funds for The Rainy Day Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust and Variety. The total amount raised will be revealed in due course.

Following its second successful year, the organisers would like to extend their thanks to this year’s sponsors – ACO Water Management, Brett Martin, Hanson, H+H, Knauf Insulation, K Rend, Lakes, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Midland Lead, Pavestone UK, Siniat, Quinn Building Products and ROCKWOOL – without whom this celebration of industry excellence simply would not be possible.

To find out more about the BMJ Industry Awards and to view the full gallery from the 2019 ceremony, visit www.bmjindustryawards.co.uk.