UK Coating Industry Meets for Annual Conference


This year’s British Coatings Federation Annual Conference reportedly hosted over 160 senior decision-makers from the United Kingdom’s paint, coatings, printing ink and wallcovering sectors.

Held in Manchester on May 23, according to the association's emailed release, the opening session covered the political and economic outlook, hearing from Andrea Boltho of Oxford Economics and BCF’s Public Affairs Manager David Park.

Roald Johannsen, Vice President of Automotive Coatings EMEA at PPG, closed the session by outlining the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink, and Artist's Colours Industry's (CEPE’s) future strategy in his role as Chairman and how members can benefit through BCF’s international relations.

Then, the federation says, the day's proceedings took a “forward-looking focus,” with a session on how businesses can harness and benefit from digitization and innovation. Speakers included Sherin Mathew, founder of AI Tech U.K.; Fhaheen Khan, Senior Economist at Make U.K.; and Professor Allan Matthews of the University of Manchester.

The afternoon opened with an interactive panel discussion on how BCF and the winder chemical supply chain can look to promote careers in the industry, as well as find future leaders. Chaired by Steve Bennett of Business of Science, the panel featured Tim Doggett of the Chemical Business Association and other participants from BCF member companies.

Additionally, it was announced that BCF has teamed up with skills body Cogent Skills to form the Coatings NextGen Council. The new federation group is reportedly made up of the industry’s young leaders who will act as the steering committee for BCF’s future careers work.

Afterwards, keynote speaker and former Microsoft manager, speaker, writer and podcast host Toni Kent shared her story and discussed social mobility and the future of work. BCF CEO Tom Bowtell, who outlined the federation’s highlights and challenges of the last year, then closed the session’s proceedings.

“It is vital that we as the trade association for the coatings sector always look ahead and assist our members in their own planning for the future. With the growth of AI, broader digitization and innovation across the industry, we are keen to highlight and debate how coatings businesses can benefit, or not be caught out by change,” commented Bowtell.

“Moreover, in addition to promoting new technologies, we must do more to encourage more young people to pursue careers in coatings. It was therefore fantastic that the conference was so supportive of our vision for promoting the industry to the next generation through our newly-formed Coatings NextGen Council.

“As well as careers and technology we also need to continue to look forward on a policy and regulatory basis too. With the UK General Election being announced less than 24 hours before the conference began, it also gave us the opportunity to remind delegates of BCF’s five policy asks for whoever forms the next Administration. We look forward to working with our members to engage with parliamentary candidates, MPs and Ministers to make clear what our sector needs from Government in future.”

To round out the day, delegates attended an evening dinner that featured a performance from stand-up comedian Justin Moorhouse.

According to the federation, the event raised over 2,000 pounds (about $2,500) for its charity partner, Community Heartbeat Trust, and its Minutes Matter Campaign. The campaign has reportedly installed over 800 defibrillator stations in red phone boxes across the U.K., with paint provided by BCF member companies.  

The event’s lead sponsor was WRX Trade, and other sponsors reportedly included Protex Chemicals, IMCD Group, Lisam and Terrafend.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Associations; British Coatings Federation; Business management; Business matters; Coatings; Coatings education; Conferences; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Industry News; Latin America; Networking; North America; Paint; Program/Project Management; Wallcovering; Z-Continents

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