BMI UK & Ireland has marked 100 years of concrete tile manufacture in the UK through its iconic BMI Redland brand.
November 1919 was when the Redhill Tile Company was founded and on December 3, 2019, the company staged a national celebration with a party at every plant, depot and office across the company’s 16 UK sites. Over 600 employees/ associates joined in the fun, with all the traditional party trimmings of cake, balloons and poppers in the mix.
Customers now also have a chance to join in the celebrations as the company has launched a Golden Tile competition, with a whopping £1,000 in shopping vouchers to be won as the first prize.
The Golden Tile (spoiler alert: it’s concrete) has been hidden by the BMI team in a random pallet of tiles at a secret location and will be released into the marketplace in January. To reflect the teamwork that goes into most roofing jobs, the £1,000 will be split into small denominations to allow the winning customer to share the bounty among their colleagues. The competition is being promoted on the company’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds.
The Golden Tile prize promotion caps a momentous year for BMI UK & Ireland. Over the past 12 months, the company has been sharing details of its rich heritage, innovation and achievements – not just from 1919 when Redland started making its first roof tiles, at the rate of 40 per hour, in a sand pit in Reigate, Surrey; but from a pedigree dating back over 180 years with the origins of the Rosemary clay tile in 1837. This final instalment covers the onset of the new millennium and brings events right up to the present celebratory day.
For BMI Icopal, the new millennium, got enough off to a great start with the acquisition of Monarflex, a move which heralded its entry into the specialist building membrane market. Things were more challenging at Redland in terms of its survival as a household name as, in 2003, its parent Lafarge decided to rebrand the group in its own likeness and retire the well-loved name in favour of a global brand strategy.
Happily for Redland, this sorry state of affairs didn’t last too long as in 2007, Lafarge divested itself of its roofing division, which became the Monier Group. Better still, in 2008, Monier reinstated the Redland name in the UK. Five years later, the Rosemary plain clay tile – then owned by Redland for nearly 30 years – celebrated its 175th birthday with the launch of Craftsman, a handcrafted clay plain tile.
The following year, 2014, the Monier Group was renamed as the Braas-Monier Building Group; while Icopal cemented its position in the liquid applied waterproofing market with the acquisition of Sealoflex.
In product news, the launch of the decade was 2015’s introduction of the Innofix clip. This was in response to the 2014 updating of BS 5534: Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling to improve the overall security of pitched roof structures. Providing fast and effective compliance with the British Standard, it’s up to 40% quicker to install than traditional nailed clips.
2016 also augured well in terms of the current structure, when US-based global industrial concern Standard Industries acquired Icopal. The following year, Standard Industries then acquired Brass Monier Building Group, bringing Redland and Icopal together under the same roof.
To reflect this coming together, the BMI Group was formed with over 150 production facilities and more than 11,000 employees across 40 countries.
The UK division – BMI UK & Ireland – formally launched in January 2019 and is headquartered in Milton Keynes; reflecting its heritage through continued use of its leading brands in BMI Redland and BMI Icopal.