The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) says successful lobbying and offering extensive technical and business services has helped it smash its target of attracting 100 new members this year five months early.
More than 114 firms have joined the BWF in the first seven months of the year, bringing its total membership to 584, the highest level for 13 years.
The organisation puts its success down to its extended ‘Toolkit’ of support services on technical, training, legal and business development issues.
Membership director Michael Lee also credits the organisation’s lobbying and marketing to promote the benefits of third-party certificated timber products such as fire doors, stairs and windows.
He said: “Joinery firms have faced huge challenges this year, and they have seen that the BWF is able to provide very practical, authoritative advice on a wide range of business, employment, health and safety and technical issues.”
BWF chief executive Iain McIlwee said the organisation had also been helped by increasing business confidence in the sector, as evidenced by encouraging new state of trade figures issued by the Construction Products Association (CPA).
But he warned that the industry was not out of the downturn yet, particularly when it comes to finance.
He said: “It is not uncommon for firms to go under as growth returns after prolonged tough times that have run down any cash reserves. This is a particularly tangible risk today as banks make short-term decisions and have little personal contact and understanding of the individual businesses of their clients. We will continue to campaign for fair payment for woodworking firms who make up a fundamentally important part of UK manufacturing.”