Uniting The British Furniture Industry
It is the time for us, the British Furniture Industry, show the support for each other that has always been apparent in our unique industry.
One week ago today (Monday 17th September), we saw the official launch of The Exchange, our new home in Long Eaton.
Among the glasses of fizz, and the servers with canapes there was a real sense of community for the British furniture industry. With The Exchange not just being an office space, but a meeting hub for the industry, it has already become the new home of the BFM, Orbital Visual Marketing, as well as the headquarters for The Furniture Makers Company Heart of England Regional Committee, and is the new home of meetings with the Long Eaton Guild. This is the start of something very exciting.
With the ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Maggie Throup MP, representatives from Erewash Council and the Long Eaton Chamber of Trade, Directors of some of the longest trading furniture manufacturing companies in the area, and a host of other industry professionals and supporters (who only had to cross the road from Harrington Mills), there was a true sense of support and excitement for what comes next for the industry. The launch also gave the opportunity for the BFM to open a dialogue with Maggie Throup MP regarding a range of issues facing the industry including flammability regulations and export. With a local MP who is more than willing to discuss issues, there was a real feeling of hope and change in such an uncertain time in the industry.
We are a unique industry, it must be said. An industry looking out for one another in the face of such a tough time in the market. We have heard a consencus from some of our members of the sense of community in the industry, especially in Long Eaton, the Centre of Upholstery, where there are over 50 manufacturers in such a small area. If one company has a big order, they only need to cross the road to come across someone to help outsource, giving each other work, helping themselves and others stay afloat in the process. This has never been so apparent as it was in the support on Monday night.
The Exchange seems to be a physical example of the network, a shared home with manufacturers, trade press, association representatives and other professionals constantly passing through the halls, waving through to each office spotting old friends and colleagues. This seems to be a poetic reflection on the original use of the Mill, which was once tenement and housed a number of different companies all under one roof.
We have to give a big thank you to Orbital Vision for organising such a great event and providing us with the photos you see here (http://orbital.vision/ - They do amazing things with CGI for the industry) and to everyone who attended the event to share the celebration.
If you're a British Manufacturer or supplier to the industry and want to join the BFM, showing your support for the British Furniture industry along with a huge number of benefits, including cost-saving benefits with regards to gas, electricity, solicitor's costs, help with employment law, weekly foam chemical pricing and much more. Click here to find out more http://bfm.org.uk/services/furniture-manufacturers.html
You will also have the chance to sign our Associated Code of Practice to prove your products are at least 50% British Made and show your consumers with our POS materials. See more here http://greatbritishfurniture.co.uk/