South West News and Events


  • SW Members' Day 2022 - Date Announcement

    by Pip Applegate | Oct 11, 2021
    Dear Member,

    I am pleased to confirm that the date for the next South West Regional Members’ Day and Annual General Meeting is on:
    24 March 2022 at Chepstow Racecourse.

    All those members who booked for the postponed event in March 2020 will be able to attend. 

    Further details and information will be sent out shortly.

    Kind regards

    Mark Spragg
    Regional Manager South Western Region England & Wales
  • UK Roofing Awards 2021 deadline for entries extended by a week

    by x Tennant | Jul 23, 2021

     In recognition of the extremely busy time the industry is going through, the deadline for entering a project into the UK Roofing Awards 2021 has been extended by a week to 6 August 2021.

    The criteria to enter an award is for the completion date of the project to have been between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020, but the judges have now clarified that projects whose completion was impacted by the pandemic will still be eligible, so as long as most of the work was undertaken in 2020.

    Projects can be entered if they were completed by a roofing contractor who is a member of one of the following bodies:

    Manufacturers, architects, and specifiers can also submit projects, but they must ensure the contractor is a member of one of the above specified bodies.

    UK Roofing Awards entries

    Entries can be made online at:

    Commenting on the announcement, NFRC Head of Technical and Training Bob Richardson, who oversees the awards, said:

    We are going through an unprecedented period as an industry. We know how busy roofing contractors are currently, as well as all the additional pressures that are being faced at the moment, from material shortages to price rises to workers having to self-isolate due to being ‘pinged’. That is why we have taken the decision to give extra time for contractors to enter for an award.

    “Nominating a project has never been more straightforward with our new online awards platform—so if you haven’t entered yet, why not make the most of this extra time to enter?  With categories covering virtually all roofing disciplines, there is something in there for everyone.

    I would like to reiterate my thanks to all of the UK Roofing Awards 2021 sponsors who have made these awards possible—Radmat, BMI, SIG Roofing, QANW, Axter, GRO, Horrods, Chandlers, Sika, CUPA PIZARRAS, Marley, EJOT, Recticel Insulation, Fakro, Cromar, Metal Solutions, TN International and Siderise.”

  • Prime Minister shows importance of roofing industry ahead of G7 Summit

    by x Tennant | Jun 10, 2021

    PM Boris Johnson roof slating in Cornwall at G7

    The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, tried his hand at roof slating yesterday (9 June) at the West Carclaze Garden Village housing development in St Austell, Cornwall, ahead of the G7 Summit.

    Commenting on this visit, NFRC CEO James Talman said:

    We are delighted that the Prime Minister chose to include roofing alongside the renewable energy and aerospace sectors in his pre-G7 tour of Cornwall. The Prime Minister clearly sees roofing as being integral to his levelling up agenda.

    Now that the PM has had first-hand experience as a roofer, he would have seen how skilled and rewarding a craft it is. I encourage him to now back RoofCERT—the U.K.‘s accreditation scheme for roofing operatives, to help professionalise the sector, up-skill roofers, and attract new talent into our industry, to help level up the U.K. and to build back better.” 

  • Roofing industry reports a positive start to 2021 but skill shortages cause headache for contractors

    by x Tennant | May 05, 2021

    State of the Roofing Industry - Q1 2021 key indicators

    Roofing contractors reported a significant growth in workloads during the first quarter of 2021 but were hampered by recruitment difficulties and continued material shortages and price rises, according to the Q1 State of the Roofing Industry survey produced by Glenigan for NFRC.

    Over half of roofing contractors surveyed reported a rise in workloads (51 per cent) in the first three months of the year, with only 11 per cent reporting a decline. This trend is set to continue, with a balance of 35 per cent of firms reporting a rise in enquiries and a balance of 47 per cent expecting growth over the next year.

    Growing workloads meant that a net balance of 8 per cent of firms grew their direct headcount on the previous quarter, and 17 per cent took on more sub-contractors. However, over half (56 per cent) of contractors reported recruitment difficulties. Roles that were hardest to fill included roof slaters and tilers (39 per cent), felters (33 per cent), and specialist slaters (29 per cent) and tilers (22 per cent).

    Material shortages also exacerbated over the quarter, with over two thirds (68 per cent) reporting a deterioration. In particular, concrete roof tiles remained the top shortage area closely followed by timber battens, insulation, slate, and clay tiles. Shortages, as well as the rising prices of raw materials, has meant 89 per cent of respondents reported price inflation.

    The survey also found:

    • All sectors of the roofing industry saw growth in Q1 2021, with the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement and new build residential sectors showing the strongest growth;
    • Northern roofing contractors, those in London, and the Southern Counties and those who operate nationwide saw the sharpest rise in workloads. Scotland and Wales both saw falls in those reporting rising workloads, following a busy end to 2020;
    • Government spending on public sector construction projects is expected to drive positive workloads for roofing contractors over the next year, with 70 per cent of contractors in this sector predicting growth over the next twelve months—far above any other sector;
    • Payment continues to be slow—whilst 62 per cent of roofing firms have contractual payment terms of 30 days or less, only 42 per cent were paid within that period, on average.

    Commenting on the report, NFRC Chief Executive James Talman said:

    The roofing industry continued to perform well in the first quarter of this year, with roofers reporting that workloads, enquiries and employment were all up. The residential sector is doing particularly well, driven by the strong new build housing market, and homeowners continuing to spend their extra disposable income on upgrading and replacing their roofs

    However, there are simply not enough roofers to deliver the amount of demand we are seeing. One in every two roofing contractors are currently struggling to find skilled operatives. This is exacerbating the other challenges roofing contractors are also facing, such as finding materials and managing their cashflow.

    “If the government want our industry to help put roofs on 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, retrofit 27 million properties and build brand new schools, hospitals and prisons, then it needs to work with us to help to train, develop and upskill the next generation of roofers.”

    Commenting on the survey findings, Glenigan’s Economics Director Allan Wilen said:

    “The construction recovery strengthened further during the first quarter, with roofing contractors reporting rising workloads. Repair, maintenance and improvement work and new house construction have been the best performing areas. Roofing contractors anticipate that the recovery in workload will be sustained over the next twelve months as the UK economy is unlocked, with new enquiries pointing to a broad-based rise in activity. However, shortages of skilled labour and materials will be a potential brake on the pace of the recovery.”

  • NFRC launches new app to digitalise health and safety passport

    by x Tennant | Apr 22, 2021

    NFRC has launched a brand-new app focused on health and safety for NFRC members and their operatives. The app fully digitalises the popular ‘Health & Safety Passport’, which previously had been a printed booklet that operatives could carry with them on site. This will mean operatives will now have access to all the health and safety information they need from their smartphone.

    iPhone 12 Pro NFRC Members app

    As part of the launch, the passport’s content has been fully updated to include recent changes in legislation and guidance and new sections giving advice and information on mental health and Covid-19. The app is future-proofed to allow NFRC to remotely update information as and when it is required, so operatives always have the latest information when they open the app.

    As a Member Benefit, the app will only be available for NFRC Members and their operatives, and any roofing operatives who have not received their log-in details are encouraged to contact the NFRC Helpdesk.

    Commenting on the launch of the app, NFRC Head of Technical and Training, Bob Richardson said:

    “This app provides an important day-to-day reminder for operatives, even when there is no phone signal, on the safe working practices that must be considered an essential part of all site working. It contains a wealth of information, from working at height to fire safety to Covid-safe guidelines, complimenting site-specific health and safety documentation.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of being agile and getting critical information and updates out to the industry quickly. Through this innovative new app, we will be able to update the health and safety passport in real-time, rather than reprinting and distributing thousands of booklets every time health and safety legislation changes. Contractors can therefore be assured that the information their operatives have is the most up-to-date.

    We hope that this is just the beginning and if the app proves popular, we will be able to expand the content to include other NFRC technical guidance and in time other areas of NFRC activity

    NFRC Members and their operatives can download the app by clicking the following links:



  • NFRC member accident rate 13 times lower than national average new data shows

    by x Tennant | Mar 31, 2021

    NFRC’s Annual Accident Statistics for 2019/20 show that members of the federation reported 73 accidents in the 2019/20 financial year, out of 23,300 employees and labour-only subcontractors.

    This equates to an accident rate of 0.317%—13 times lower than the national average. NFRC members also reported zero fatalities for the fifth year in the row.

    NFRC Accident Statistics Report 2021

    The top five accidents reported by NFRC members mirrored the most common accidents across construction as reported by the HSE:

      1. Slips, trips, or falls on the same level (26)
      2. Falls from height (18)
      3. Injured whilst handling, lifting or carrying a load (14)
      4. Hit by a moving object-flying or falling (3)
      5. Contact with moving machinery (3)

    The most cited reason for slips and trips, was that scaffold platforms and work areas were obstructed with materials and waste.

    Commenting on the statistics, NFRC Head of Technical and Training, Bob Richardson said:

    These statistics are a testament to the hard work our members have put into implementing healthy and safe working practices—in a year when they have also faced a global pandemic. The numbers speak for themselves, and this should give clients, homeowners, and specifiers confidence that when they use an NFRC member, they will do the job safely.

    He added:

    However, we should not rest on our laurels, and 73 accidents is still 73 too many. We must aim for zero-harm as an industry—to do this we need look to improve operatives risk perception, promote understanding of health and safety, and raise awareness of consequences.

    He concluded:

    The most common accidents mirror construction as a whole, which indicates we’re not inventing new ways to injure ourselves, but just repeating the same mistakes and violations. The most cited accident reported being slips, trips and falls. If contractors take simple measures such as keeping storage and work areas tidy, having a system in place to manage waste, and making sure everyone knows what they have to do, we can hope that 2022’s figures come back even lower ”

S​outh West Regional Events


The 2021 SW Members Day held on Zoom during the coronavirus pandemic