Major progress have been taken this month in the proposed high-level merger of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and Timber Trades Federation (TTF) with the signing of a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the two bodies on 10th September.

David Pattenden, president of the BWF, and Stephen King, president of the TTF, confirmed their intentions for a much closer collaborative working relationship, which would build on the strengths of both organisations in order to create a more influential lobby group to grow the use of timber and to provide an extended range of services to member companies.

If the proposals are approved by their respective memberships, the BWF and TTF would continue to exist as separate entities with their core activities driven by their respective Councils; however a new group company would also be formed to bridge the two federations, with a new chief executive who would effectively operate as a joint CEO of the TTF and BWF, supported by a Head of Woodworking and Head of Timber Trades.

The new group company would provide a streamlined central resource for both bodies, coordinating promotional activities, research, policy and market development, membership services and other areas where it can resolve common problems and grow market opportunities.

Both organisations have also confirmed their commitment to work closely through The Timber Industry Associations’ Accord, the Wood Industry Training Forum, and with Wood for Good. They have already collaborated this year on various policy issues, including lobbying on standards for sustainable homes and the importance of counting embodied carbon in any sustainability assessment.

David Pattenden said: “The BWF has had a very positive response from its members, who can see that this is a very exciting opportunity to raise the profile and understanding of the benefits that the timber supply chain provides the economy, environment and individual customer sectors.”

Stephen King said: “This is a deal founded firmly on the principle of mutual benefit, bringing together the best of both federations to support the best of the timber industry. Through working together in this way we could significantly increase our abilities to provide a wider range of support activities and to operate in circles that individual companies would find difficult or impossible, no matter how large, to undertake alone.”

The proposals will now be taken forward by the BWF and TTF in the next year.