Builders’ merchants tell minister they can mobilise huge fleet of vehicles and drivers to get materials to key sites

The three largest builders’ merchants have written to the government to offer their support in the face of the growing economic crisis.

Travis Perkins, Grafton and Saint-Gobain sent the letter to Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, offering to help in delivering materials and keeping supply chains running.

Collectively they wish to help facilitate the repair of hospitals, prisons and public buildings and offer support for over one million tenanted social housing properties with the necessary materials and supplies.

The letter outlines how the trio, along with partners across the industry, can mobilise a huge fleet of vehicles and drivers to support supply chains as coronavirus spreads across the UK.

The letter said: “We are urgently seeking a meeting with you to discuss the importance of allowing the UK’s builders’ merchants to continue to support the trade during this difficult time – providing essential materials and services to keep the country operational.”

It was signed by Nick Roberts, chief executive at Travis Perkins, Gavin Stark, group chief executive at Grafton and Saint-Gobain’s CEO Mike Chaldecott.

It comes after the Builders Merchants Federation advised the government on the likely impact of coronavirus on construction and its supply chains.

John Newcomb, the BMF’s chief executive,  said: “It is exactly at times of business uncertainty that any industry needs a strong, reliable and effective trade association to represent its interests.

”The BMF will do all we can to help and support members through this very difficult period.”

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