News & Events

CTI writes to Chancellor ahead of 2017 Budget Announcement

In an open letter to the Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond ahead of his budget speech on 8 March 2017, the Confederation of Timber Industries has called for a more incisive role of the Government on strategic themes such as Skills and Education, Productive Growth and Energy Security.

The letter - written by Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and Member of CTI Board of Directors - highlights the contribution of the Timber Industry to the UK Economy and provides recommendations to tackle the productivity gap.

In details the CTI has outlined the following points:

  • Rebalancing the educational system to support technical education is essential for UK Economy growth
  • The introduction of the new Apprentice Standards may not apply correctly
  • Any profit from the Apprenticeship Levy money should be ring-fenced to support SMEs training
  • Schools should be equipped and targeted to support technical education options
  • The current business rate system discourages investment and undermines productivity - as remarked by the latest BWF State of Trade Survey
  • UK needs a productive taxation system that rewards positive behaviour and encourages UK Trade Gain
  • The reduction of Industry Energy usage must be a pillar of the new UK Clean Growth policy
  • The recommendations of the Natural Capital Committee and the Bonfield Review could represent a starting point in a wider debate on the future of UK energy supply

The complete letter can be found here.


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CTI seminar on Housing White Paper | 28 February 2017 | House of Commons

On Tuesday 28th February 2017, the Confederation of Timber Industries will hold a seminar event outlining how the UK Offsite Timber Manufacturing is helping deliver the ambitions of the Housing White Paper.

The event "Housing White Paper: Delivering targets through Offsite Timber Construction" will take place from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm in the Committee Room 19, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA.

Speakers include: David Birkbeck, CEO of Design for Homes; Thomas Hoepfner, Cofounder & Director of New Garden Cities Alliance; and Stewart Dalgarno, Director of product development at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, one of the UK’s leading timber homes manufacturers.

The recent Housing White Paper has highlighted the need for innovative offsite manufacture to help meet our housing targets. The UK timber manufacturing sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of construction in the UK and at the forefront of building innovation. It allows homes to be built faster, more sustainably, and to a higher standard than traditional build methods.

This focused session will also provide excellent opportunities to network with members of Timber Industries APPG and key decision makers.

The Full Agenda for the event can be seen here.

Please note that this is an invitation-only event and the available seats are strictly limited.

For more information, contact Ben Antuono - CTI Communications Coordinator - at [email protected] or 0207 291 5377.


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BWF State of Trade Survey: Business rates among main concerns for woodworking manufacturers

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has issued the results of its Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2016.

The consultation shows that the benefits of increased joinery sales are being balanced out by inflationary pressures such as wages and the impact of exchange rates on raw material costs.

With business rates changes set to hit many joinery companies from April, the balance of respondents reported that rates for their current property would increase as a result of the recent revaluations, with almost one third expecting an increase of over 5%.

BWF Policy & Communications Executive Matt Mahony commented on the state of the joinery industry and the business rates changes: “With the cost of doing business a concern for many in our sector, we surveyed what the consequences of the Business Rates Revaluations would be and were concerned to find that almost a third of respondents indicated an incoming business rates increase of over 5 percent. The high street may have been a major focus of the ‘business rates revolt’, but further cost rises for our industry are unpalatable. There are undoubtedly companies that will benefit from the changes, but on balance our industry looks to be getting a bad deal from the revaluations – this is especially galling as we have long campaigned for low energy manufacturers to be incentivised and it makes no sense to include plant and machinery in rateable value when trying to drive investment and job creation.

“Looking at the rest of the survey, on the whole we saw a stable, although by no means easy quarter for the woodworking industry. Sales volumes had increased for 26% on balance and were anticipated to grow again for the next quarter (Q1 2017), but at a lower growth rate than before. Further depreciations in the Sterling also raised the cost of imported materials, meaning that raw materials continue to be the main driver of input price inflation, with wages & salaries also having a big impact on costs.

“Realistically it’s not a bad picture at this point of time, although uncertainty over the impact of Brexit continues to linger in the background as it has been for the last couple of quarters. You can see the impact on costs, but thankfully this doesn’t seem to have hit the investment intentions of joinery businesses or their plans to take on more staff.

“In the longer term the big questions are whether government and industry can work effectively to deliver new plans for housing and manufacturing and also to what extent the market will be able to capitalise on Brexit. First the sector will have to get to grips with the major changes in training which could help address the availability of skilled labour and the issue of joiners having to provide a broader spread of services to fill main contractor skills gaps on site."

Key points from the BWF Joinery State of Trade Survey Q4 2016 include:

  • A balance of 20% of respondents reported that business rates for their current property would increase as a result of recent Business Rates Revaluations in England & Wales with 32% of respondents indicating that their rates would increase by over 5%.
  • A balance of 26% of joinery companies reported an increase in sales volumes for Q4 2016 from the previous quarter. This follows on from 55% of joinery companies reporting an increase in sales volumes in Q3 2016 from Q2 2016.
  • Manufacturers felt that sales volumes would improve in the next quarter, with a balance of 34% predicting an increase for Q1 2017, and a balance of 22% predicting an increase over the next year.
  • 19% of companies reported a current order book of future work extending beyond 3 months – down 9% from the previous quarter - with 58% now saying that their order book extended from between 1 and 3 months.
  • Demand was listed as the most likely constraint on output over the next year by 45% of respondents. Capacity and labour availability came next, with 21% and 18% of respondents feeling that they were most likely to constrain output. Raw material prices had become the main factor for 13%.
  • 39% of respondents on balance reported increasing their labour force in the last year, with 57% of respondents anticipating an increased labour force over the next year.
  • Raw material costs were noted as the main inflationary factor for unit costs for 87% of respondents, with wages/salaries increases pushing up unit costs for 81% of respondents on balance.
  • Exchange rates were a factor in inflating unit costs for 57% of respondents – having risen from 5% a year previously.
  • 67% of respondents on balance reported an inflationary impact in unit costs through fuel costs.
  • Investment in product improvement had been increased by 50% of companies on balance over the past year, with a balance of 51% to boost investment over the next year.
  • Investment in manufacturing equipment spending had been increased by 53% of companies on balance over the past year, with a balance of 66% to boost investment over the next year.


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Forestry Commission launches 16th edition of Forest Live gigs

The Forestry Commission (FC) has issued dates and artists' line-ups for its Forest Live 2017.

Each summer since 2001, the FC has been hosting a series of special concerts in seven forest venues throughout England to raise awareness on the importance of UK woodlands heritage.

It is estimated that, by 2013, over a million concert goers have attended a Forestry Commission gig in a forest.

Find below the complete list of concerts:

  • Thu 15 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury
  • Fri 16 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Rick Astley
    Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
  • Fri 16 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Olly Murs
    Westonbirt Arboretum
  • Sat 17 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
  • Sat 17 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Rick Astley
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury
  • Sun 18 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Craig David
    Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury
  • Fri 23 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Rick Astley
    Dalby Forest Nt Thornton, Ledale
  • Sat 24 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Dalby Forest Nt Thornton, Ledale
  • Sun 25 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Sherwood Pines Nottingham
  • Sun 25 Jun 2017, 19:30
    Craig David
    Dalby Forest Nt Thornton, Ledale
  • Thu 29 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Thetford Forest Thetford
  • Fri 30 Jun 2017, 19.30
    Olly Murs
    High Lodge Thetford Forest
  • Fri 30 Jun 2017, 18:00
    Delamere Forest, Cheshire
  • Sat 01 Jul 2017, 19:30
    Rick Astley
    High Lodge - Thetford Forest Suffolk
  • Sun 02 Jul 2017, 17:00
    Clean Bandit
    Thetford Forest, Thetford
  • Sun 02 JUl 2017, 19.30
    Rick Astley
    Delamere Forest, Cheshire
  • Fri 07 Jul 2017, 19:00
    Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley

Detailed information is available at:


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Grown In Britain begins tree planting in Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, Oxfordshire

On Friday 10th February, Grown in Britain staff, supporters and licence-holders came together to begin planting the Grown in Britain Grove, part of the Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, in Oxfordshire.

Some 300 productive tree saplings were planted during the day, which also included a tour of the Sylva Centre. The Centre is clad in thermally-modified home-grown sycamore and ash, financed through a research grant from Grown in Britain (GiB).

“The Grown in Britain Grove is a focus point for celebrating the future of British timber,” said Grown In Britain CEO, Dougal Driver. “Many of our licence holders are forest owners and sawmillers in their own right, already contributing to the future of Britain’s productive forests through their re-planting programmes. We want the Grown in Britain Grove to be somewhere that licence-holders further along the supply chain, in joinery manufacturing, construction and retailing, can come, participate in planting, and feel part of the continuing story of sustainable British woodlands and timber production,” Dougal Driver added.

The Grove is financed through donations to Grown in Britain, and the campaign is particularly grateful to Orpago bespoke furniture and Vastern Timber for their contributions.

Left to right in the picture are: John Weir, Forestry Commission; Laura Sceal, GiB; Judith Millidge, Small Woodland Owners Group; Helen Bentley-Fox, GiB; Dougal Driver, GiB; Tom Barnes, Vastern Timber; Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation (seated); William Jackson, Certainly Wood; Jen Hurst, Sylva Foundation.


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