I’m sometimes asked what the Bathroom Manufacturers Association does. From anyone outside of our membership or stakeholder base, perhaps there’s an assumption that we only promote UK bathroom manufacturing, but the reality is far broader.

Our official principal objective is to provide an independent forum for bathroom manufacturers trading in the UK to discuss and debate matters of mutual interest. We act as an information highway between industry, the government and the consumer on all issues affecting the UK bathroom business.

That simple explanation, however, can only be supported by a vast range of activities and engagement with our members.

Most trade associations I know of actively engage in political activities through lobbying and advising the government on policies affecting their sector. While ‘experts’ have been out of political fashion for a few years, officials are starting to again appreciate the knowledge and greater understanding of the nuances that could affect us. Therefore, dialogue with government departments and communicating outcomes to members is critical.

The technical work we undertake is also vital for members. The bathroom sector is charged with regulator specifications to safeguard consumers against backflow, for instance, and to comply with the Water Supply (Water Regulations) Regulations, among many other areas. It is detailed work, but we assist and discuss all implications with members and external stakeholders to ensure compliance.

We also discuss issues through our Special Interest Groups, such as those looking at healthcare and adaptations for public and commercial washrooms. These niche groups drive debate and advocacy work, leading us to push amendments to the recent Levelling Up Bill.

Then, of course, we fully utilise our internal and external communications channels, whether in columns such as this, our fortnightly bulletin of association news and updates, social media, our websites, or our dedicated members’ mobile app.

In January this year, we launched a quarterly publication, BMA Insights. This document analyses government policy briefings of relevance to our industry. It also examines trends (sometimes based on our research programmes with consumer polls), sector turnover statistics and the economic landscape to fully inform members so they can prepare their businesses for any impacts.

Our calendar of events is also extensive, most recently hosting the BMA Sustainability Awards, where a range of members were recognised for their drive and determination to make a difference to our planet.

So you see, our role is not just to promote the UK bathroom manufacturing sector. It is to support and engage with all interested parties to ultimately ensure consumers are protected and can enjoy outstanding products in the bathroom space.