Refurbishment begins at home

With boiler sales at a ten year low, Neil Schofield – Head of Government and External Affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group, finds it hard to see how a third runway at Heathrow airport will help.

Sometimes I despair! What has brought me to this point? Well, in the midst of catastrophic construction figures and boiler sales at a ten year low (according to the HHIC), all the Government talks about is big infrastructure plans.

The latest big idea is the third runway at Heathrow, which is being touted as the panacea for our economic ills. Quite apart from the impact on residential housing in London (whenever I stay in Richmond, I’m woken at 4.30 in the morning by the ‘Red Eye’ from New York), there is not a cat in hell’s chance that this scheme will see the light of day before 2020.

What the UK economy needs is a stimulus for the construction sector that can deliver now in order to get getting the housing market moving.  When people buy new houses, they vacate older properties and the new owners tend to do some refurbishment work, which means new bathrooms, kitchens and boilers.

The Government’s decision to relax the planning laws for extensions is a start, but I suspect the real key is going to be getting the banks to lend for mortgages again and getting people to think about moving and refurbishing.

Only then will we hear the cry of wives, partners and girlfriends across the UK that has been missing these past few years – “I can’t live another day with that bathroom, it has to go.”  Hopefully, our better halves will also add the following – “And while you’re at it, get rid of that noisy old boiler.”

About The Author

Neil Schofield is Head of Government and External Affairs at Worcester, Bosch Group. He has been in the heating industry throughout his career, starting at British Gas in 1987. More recently, Neil has become the manufacturer’s ‘Man in the Ministry, leading Worcester on industry legislation and ensuring the company is at the forefront of providing support for any new changes.