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18th August 2017
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Remarkable backdrop for BMA's AGM
St. George's Park, home of the Football Association, provided the remarkable backdrop for the recent Bathroom Manufacturers Association AGM.
Around 60 members attended the annual general meeting which included the usual constitutional business, marketing and technical reports, an update on October's Bathroom and Kitchen Industry Business Conference, and presentations from two guest speakers.
The event also marked the last for the BMA's Technical Director, Chris Taylor-Hamlin who announced that he is leaving the association after nine years' service to take up a new role within the industry.
Paul Massey, group CEO of Worcestershire-based AKW and DLP Group, and BMA president, opened the official proceedings by welcoming the nine new members who had joined the association since last year. He went on to outline the achievements of the association in a year which had seen continuing progress and growth.
Updates were received on the core activity of the BMA including work with WRAS, product standards, CPR, and circular economy, to name but a few. The BMA remained, in the legal jargon, 'a going concern' and members agreed that its work was 'excellent value for money.'
During a general discussion, the continuing investigations of the construction industry by the CMA (the UK government's Competition and Markets Authority) aroused considerable debate. It is quite evident that some within the building industry still believe, wrongly, that they are able to control on-line retail pricing. The CMA has considerable powers and should a company be found to be breaking the law huge fines can be handed out. Recently, a light fitting dealer was fined £2.7m for dictating online resale prices.
The guest speakers included Ffion Francis from Houzz (the online platform for home renovation and design) and Chris Alderman, corporate tax manager RSM UK Tax and Accounting.
Ffion is one of Houzz UK team and works on events for industry professionals. The Houzz project has grown to become a community of more than 40 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. She revealed the results of their latest Bathroom Trends Study including how our bathrooms are going high tech and homeowners are investing in luxurious, modernised bathrooms that allow them to relax and stay connected.
Chris explained how companies who invest in Research & Development can gain tax advantages. He encouraged members to look more closely at Innovation Reliefs to generate cash savings and explained that R&D encompasses many facets which are often overlooked.
"Our AGM's are always quite lively affairs!" comments Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the BMA. "There's never a dull moment and this year's AGM was no different.
"Members were particularly pleased to hear about the work and progress of our association and the debates, networking and professional speakers made the day-long event another landmark in our calendar."
7th July 2017