Iain McIlwee, BWF Chief Executive Officer
It was a real pleasure to attend the unveiling of Mumford & Wood’s new £1.5m investment in their windows and external doors manufacturing facility at Tiptree, Essex on Friday. This investment marks a real improvement in conditions and confidence in this important part of the joinery industry.
The investment at Mumford and Wood is in state-of-the-art, computer controlled plant and machinery that has enabled the company to replace a great deal of the manual work on the more straightforward products, thus allowing the craftsmen and women to channel their efforts to more skilled work, including the production of specials, such as bay windows and curved heads, that require specialist hand finishing.
Mumford & Wood, who last year celebrated a 60th Anniversary, took the opportunity to invite The Right Honourable Priti Patel MP, Minister of State for Employment, who formally opened the extended facility, currently home to 120 employees. This was a great opportunity to demonstrate to Ms Patel, who is also their local MP, that the woodworking sector is, as our manifesto says, a key part of our heritage and a vital part of our future.
I am pleased to say that the natural advantages offered by timber did not go unnoticed by Ms Patel who noted that the low carbon footprint of timber manufacturing is something that we need to seek to take advantage of. She also used her role as Employment Minister to highlight the Government focus on quality apprentices and recognised the value that the joinery industry provides to the economy.
Chairman of PTPG and immediate Past President of the BWF, Roy Wakeman OBE (on the left, next to Priti Patel MP) shared his thoughts, “For our valued employees, staff and stakeholders, this considerable move underlines continued future confidence, market growth, increased output and investment in innovation for this market-leading brand.”
As well as being a good excuse to celebrate, the occasion was a great opportunity to pass to an important Government Minister the new revised BWF Manifesto and once more we urge all members to try and engage with their MP locally and ensure that they are alert to the strength and value of the woodworking sector in the UK and we have provided a range of resources to support you in this here: www.bwf.org.uk/news/latest-news/joinery-industry-raises-its-voice-with-mps. Do let us know how you get on.