Woodworking and joinery manufacturing firms that are part of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) will receive increased benefits and opportunities to participate in industry development, as part of plans announced by David Pattenden, the new president of the BWF.

David Pattenden is the MD of Specialist Joinery (South) which trades as Westgate Joinery and Hailsham Joinery. He set up the business 23 years ago, and has been an active and committed advocate for the industry throughout this time.

Although his involvement with the BWF first started in 1986, David has served on BWF’s council since 2005, becoming a director and BWF officer in 2007 and holding the post of senior vice-president since 2011.

David Pattenden has already made his mark on BWF strategy, particularly for his involvement in BWF Members Day 2013. This year’s event was the biggest yet and focused on helping joinery businesses shape up for the future, including master classes and keynote speakers offering advice and support to BWF members on a wide range of critical legislative, technical and operational issues. David was instrumental in the decision to make a free place available to all members this year for the first time.

He says: “Making this day free to members was very important to me. There should be no barrier for members to get involved and benefit fully from the great work BWF does. Engagement with members is the theme of my presidency. Each and every firm will get even greater value from their membership of the BWF and will have the opportunity to add their voice and shape the joinery industry of the future.

“We are seeing continued significant membership growth – about 80 new applications to join the BWF in the last six months alone, compared with just over 100 in the whole of last year. But I don’t simply want to see numbers going up – our aim is for active participation, debate and input from all member firms.”

Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the BWF, says: “Under David’s leadership, the Council and staff have a clear strategy to ensure the BWF is a strong, authoritative voice working for a profitable industry. We are member led, guided by close contact and consultation with the membership.

“We remain at the forefront of the political and technical debate on joinery products, health and safety, construction, skills and fire safety, so we are also introducing a new consultation and campaigns area on the website to ensure all members have the maximum opportunity to engage with upcoming policy issues and to have their say. Building on a strong information platform, our aim is to combine more events, traditional and digital communications to drive active engagement from all firms, and we are planning a 20% increase in participation in next year’s Members Day.”

At the BWF’s AGM, other Council members were elected including Gordon Nelson (MS, Eurojoinery & Doors) as senior vice-president, Cliff Thrumble (MD, Boyland Joinery Ltd) as junior vice-president and Paul Bailey (MD, European Door Sets Ltd) as Honorary Treasurer.

Robin Baker (general manager, Premdor) and Jon Gorf (MD, Parker & Highland Joinery Ltd) have also become new directors of the BWF.