KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
25th March 2011
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by Chervana Hobbs
Welcome to the
The UK budget, delivered on Wednesday by George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was designed to improve the nation's competitiveness, encourage enterprise, promote growth and create jobs. My initial thoughts are that it will do the trick and it appears that most reputable business groups agree.
As Mr Osborne pointed out, many other countries have seen their ratings downgraded and their borrowing costs soar in recent months. Market interest rates in Greece are 12.5%, in Ireland they are close to 10%, in Portugal and Spain they are 7% and 5%.
"Today our country's market interest rates have fallen to 3.6%," he said. "We have a higher deficit than Portugal, Greece and Spain, but we have virtually the same interest rates as Germany.
"This is our powerful monetary stimulus to our recovering economy."
He said that while over the past decade, other nations have reduced their business tax rates, removed barriers to enterprise, improved education systems, reformed welfare and increased exports, the reverse has happened in Britain. As a result, we've dropped from 4th to 12th place in the global competitiveness league.
However, he also referred to the fact that The European Commission has recently published its growth forecasts. These show that the UK is forecast to grow more strongly in the coming year than Spain, Italy, France, the average for the Eurozone and the average for the EU.
Britain used to have the 3rd lowest corporate tax rate in Europe. It now has the sixth highest. Other countries are making their tax systems more competitive and attracting multi-national companies away from the UK but the Chancellor feels that the changes he's announced will give us a far more attractive system than France, America or Germany.
"I want Britain to be the place international businesses go to, not the place they leave," he said, announcing that from April this year corporation tax will be reduced not just by 1% as previously announced but by 2%. It will continue to fall by 1% in each of the following three years - taking our corporate tax rate right down to 23%.
"That's 16% lower than America, 11% lower than France and 7% lower than Germany - the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7," challenged the Chancellor.
This Week's News
Many more British exporters, including many SMEs, are now eligible to apply for short term credit insurance from the UK export credit agency, ECGD (Export Credits Guarantee Department).
ECGD's short term insurance has previously only been available for capital exports, making it of interest mainly to large exporters. In the white paper: 'Trade & Investment for Growth', the Government announced that this would be extended to include finished and intermediate goods. The contract value can be as low as £20,000.
The Ultra Tile grout range consists of FlexJoint, WideJoint and FineJoint and all three products are now available in their new look packaging! Sporting bright new colours, a modern design, simplified product information and now ideal bag sizes, the packaging is perfect for both retailers and fixers alike.
FineJoint and WideJoint are both formulated to provide a hygienic finish that is mould resistant and water repellent. FineJoint is suitable for joint widths from 1-12mm and WideJoint up to 20mm.
Made from durable plastic, the cutlery trays are suitable for use with both 450mm and 500mm depth drawer boxes and are available in a variety sizes to suit cabinet widths from 300mm to 1000mm.
Ideal Standard International, a leading provider of innovative, design-driven bathroom solutions, is celebrating the win of its third RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Occupational Health & Safety Gold Medal Award. The Gold Medal Award is only awarded to companies gaining RoSPA's Gold Achievement Standard level for five consecutive years.
The award recognises organisations that lead the field in demonstrating a rigorous approach to occupational health, with excellent Health & Safety management systems; strong audit results and culture; and high levels of compliance.
As key trend looks revolve around organic tones, warmth and harmony, Carron Phoenix's Espresso granite, launched a year ago, is strongly coming into its own as the company reports a sharp rise in popularity for this chocolate-based, pearlescent colour.
Says Neil Clark, sales and marketing director at Carron Phoenix:
Thank you for visiting Ecobuild - I hope you found your time at the event both useful and enjoyable.
The presentations from this year's conference and seminar programme are now available on the Ecobuild website and are free to download for all Ecobuild's visitors.
To view the presentations, click and enter your Ecobuild login details.
Craig Rothwell, Managing Director, of 20-20 Technologies has completed a 10 day charity climb up Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise funds for the biggest youth centre in the UK, Bolton Lads and Girls Club.
Earlier this month, Craig took the challenging Rongai route up to the 19,340 foot summit in his fundraising mission for Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Craig and the team set down the gauntlet of completing the mammoth climb to raise £13,000 for the charity's mentoring scheme.
The purpose of the event was to highlight the importance of vocational training in the run up to London 2012, and to raise awareness amongst employers of the high quality construction and engineering talent available.
Shaws of Darwen have supplied their traditional Original and Classic fireclay sinks to The Prince's Foundation's Natural House being built at the Building Research Establishment in Watford, near London. The Natural House is a low carbon home designed by The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment using natural materials in a traditional design that reflects the character of its local area.
The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment exists to improve the quality of people's lives by teaching and practicing timeless and ecological ways of planning, designing and building in a sustainable way.
The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has this week announced the 10 winners of the 2010/2011 NKBA Student Design Competition, which offers more than $13,000 in scholarships and prizes.
The winners will be awarded at the NKBA Design Competition Awards event on April 26th, 2011 at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, which is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This prominent industry event will also recognise the professional designers who created the best kitchens and baths of the past year. The event is an exclusive event available only to the press, top designers and select industry insiders.
Electrolux has this week announce the launch of a unique temporary dining concept. Two Electrolux 'Cube' restaurants will be popping up on a series of landmark sites across Europe over the course of 2011, starting with a placement on top of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, Belgium!
The aim is to create an experience that surprises and inspires guests with fantastic tastes and never-before-seen views, ultimately stimulating them to explore their own creative boundaries next time they entertain friends or family at home.
The KBzine Archive Search
We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.
News in Brief
Don't forget that the Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the NEC Birmingham, finishes on Sunday at 17.00. It's well worth a visit! E: email@example.com
Congratulations to Whirlpool, awarded the 2011 Energy Star Sustained Excellence award (the highest possible award) by the US Environmental Protection Agency! T: 0208 649 5000
Designer London showroom, Aromabath, is featuring Geberit's Aquaclean WC, which has a temperature-controlled wash and dry function to leave you clean and fresh. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
K Kitchens' new Ashbourne shaker-style kitchen boasts a light oak, solid timber frame with a veneered centre panel. It has a horizontal grain inner profile. T: 0800 8 77 88 99
Hansgrohe's Axor Citterio bathroom collection has been fitted into all the bathrooms of the new, five-star Four Seasons Hotel at London's Park Lane. T: 01372 465655
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kbb London's seminar programme is set to attract plenty of show visitors, with topical discussions and debates on the hot issues at the heart of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design industry. The free seminar sessions will run alongside the exhibition, which launches this year from 15th - 17th May 2011 at the ExCeL, London.
Polypipe Ventilation's new catalogue details its full range of energy-saving domestic and light commercial ventilation systems. This is the first catalogue from the company to incorporate not only Polypipe and Domus product offerings but also the Silavent range of fans acquired by the group last year.
More van and light goods vehicle operators may be unwittingly increasing their fuel and running costs and reducing their safety by overloading their vehicles, according to Swinton Commercial Insurance.
Polypipe has been fined after a fork lift truck that had been lowering a cage containing two workers to the ground, hit one of the men.
British Ceramic Tile is proud to announce its recent certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 - the internationally recognised assessment specification for occupational health & safety management systems.