Friday 14th November
Speaking yesterday at the Master Builder of the Year Awards in central London, Richard Diment, Director General of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), called on the Government to outline a series of practical measures to help small and medium sized building firms survive in the worsening economic climate.
Richard Diment, FMB Director General said:
“The building industry is facing its biggest challenges for many years. The indicators are that many will struggle to survive in the current market, with 41% of our members warning that they will be making job losses over the coming months. The Government must take direct action now to limit the impact and duration of the recession if it wants to protect the thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs in the building sector. "
"The Government needs to take the following action to avert a crisis:
Force banks to honor existing loans and overdraft facilities to small businesses and require them to pass on last week’s welcome interest rate reduction
Reduce VAT on home improvements and renovation to 5%
Reform Stamp Duty to make it a graduated tax
Set out a clear strategy to upgrade the existing housing stock to make it energy efficient; a new market worth over £3 billion a year to builders
Open up the procurement process to small businesses.
By taking decisive action now the Government can help to side step the worsening economic situation and show its support to the thousands of builders who face an uncertain and bleak future.”
The winner of the Master Builder of the Year Awards 2008 provides an object lesson in how to upgrade housing stock. Ellis & Hughes transformed a run of the mill three-bedroom 1960s house into a five-bedroom contemporary family home designed for 21st century living. The Leicester firm beat the best of Britain’s buildersfrom every corner of the UK, all of whom had been nominated by their clients for the first class quality of their craftsmanship and customer service. In this national competition, organised by FMB in association with Nissan, Ellis & Hughes also win the Nissan Light Commercial Vehicle of their choice worth up to £20,000.
Amongst the other award winners were:
- An energy efficient makeover on a London townhouse won Earthdome Ltd the energy saving category,
- An octagonal house built around an oak tree won Spey Building & Joinery Ltd, Kingussie, the new homes category,
- A Polish builder who loved his Scottish clients’ native Aberfeldy so much that he upped sticks from Birmingham and moved there, won the Heavenly Builder category,
- A bricklayer from Staines took the title of 2008 Apprentice of the Year.
The winners were presented with their Awards by Naomi Cleaver, presenter of C4 Grand Designs Trade Secrets at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Thursday 13th November in front of 600 guests.