House of Lords shows rising influence of aluminium

Richard Harrington MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (BEIS)

On the 12th July, we had our annual lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Paul of Marylebone. It was a fruitful and honest discussion of key issues facing the industry, with lots of opportunity for members to ask questions of the parliamentarians and civil servants. And there was a bit of additional drama as the MPs hurried from the chamber with their fresh copies of the Brexit white paper – it was interesting hearing their immediate impressions.

Here are the key takeaways from the event:

  • The Aluminium Federation is having a major impact on government policy – Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS, as well as the BEIS civil servants and APPG parliamentarians all commented on how helpful ALFED has been as they consider policies affecting trade and industry
  • Government is taking our interests to heart when it comes to trade and Brexit – and they welcome our continued input. ALFED CEO Tom Jones meets officials regularly, so let us know if there are issues you want him to raise
  • The aluminium industry is making key strides when it comes to showcasing innovation – Rob Bennett from Bloodhound SSC made this clear as he discussed the valuable contribution aluminium is making to efforts to break the land speed record
  • We need to think long-term about talent issues – the Bloodhound SSC/ALFED combined project is part of this, and if you’d like to sponsor the schools-based activity (and build your business profile), contact Kathy Romback at

The next big event is the Annual Dinner and Member’s Briefing on Thursday 20th September. One of the highlights of the industry calendar, it’s being held this year at the prestigious Tortworth Court Hotel, a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion in South Gloucestershire.

To book your tickets for the dinner and to take advantage of our pre-reserved hotel rooms, please contact Ann Gough at or on 0121 601 6365.

Senior’s Fenestration adds Spirit to Glasgow’s new Whisky Distillery

Whisky production has returned to the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow for the first time in 100 years with the completion of the stunning new Clydeside Distillery, which features high performance aluminium curtain walling and commercial doors from Senior Architectural Systems.

Designed by Hypostyle Architects to combine historical character with contemporary architecture, the new distillery is located within a converted pump house and clock tower, which have been sympathetically refurbished to create a visitor centre and café.

As an impressive focal point, the distillery’s two tonne twin copper stills have been showcased within an extensively glazed modern extension that has been created through the use of Senior’s slim profile structurally glazed SF52 aluminium curtain wall system. Senior’s thermally broken SPW 501 aluminium commercial doors, which are ideally suited to high traffic areas, were also specified and installed by GG Glass & Glazing Glasgow for main contractor McLaughlin & Harvey.

Senior’s SF52 aluminium system features attractive slim sightlines and enhanced thermal performance to help boost energy-efficiency. Available as a mullion drained system which removes the need for visible drainage slots, Senior’s SF52 curtain wall can be specified as capped, silicone sealed or as a combination of the two for even greater design flexibility. Thanks to Senior’s in-house powder coating facility, the SF52 system is also available in an almost unlimited range of colours and finishes.

For more information about Senior, visit or search for Senior Architectural Systems on Twitter,LinkedIn and Facebook.


Spotlight on Innovation

HOW GOVERNMENT CAN UNLOCK SMALL BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY. This document produced by the Federation for Small Businesses.

House of Lords Lunch

All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Aluminium Industry
Annual Lunch in the House of Lords

Thursday 12 July 2018

ALFED’s annual Parliamentary Lunch is to be held on Thursday, 12 July in the Cholmondeley Room Terrace at the House of Lords. The event will be hosted by Lord Paul of Marylebone, who is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Aluminium Industry.

The purpose of this very important event in ALFED’s calendar is to raise and discuss issues relating to the UK’s aluminium sector at the highest level within UK Government. There will be three speakers at the Lunch:

ALFED President Giles Ashmead managing director of Powdertech (Corby) Limited, will give an industry overview;

Mr Richard Harrington MP (Watford), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will speak about the current situation with Tariffs and information required from companies for the Brexit negotiations; and

Mr Rob Bennett, Bloodhound SSC Events will speak about Education and Bloodhound’s involvement with schools, STEM groups and the involvement with ALFED and the Alu D&T Challenge Competition.

There is an opportunity after the presentations for a Question and Answer session.

This is open to all ALFED Members, one place per company, as part of their ALFED Membership.

If you need further information or to book a place, please contact Ann Gough on 0121 601 6365, email

Bespoke powder coating recreates characteristic tones of Jura Limestone

Powdertech Corby has just completed coating over 4500sq m of aluminium cladding panels for Westfield White City Shopping Centre’s £600 million refurbishment and extension. An extensive coating job in itself, the project was one of particular satisfaction for the company.  “We created a bespoke powder coating in our Landscape™ range for this flagship project,” said Powdertech Corby Director Richard Besant, “and we, and the customer alike, are delighted with the result.”

Westfield White City Shopping Centre

The design intention for the Westfield extension, now a premier shopping and social venue, was for Jura Limestone to surround a significant part of the exterior of the building and small sections of the interior. Rather than use the stone itself, Powdertech expertise, combined with the flexibility and design freedom of aluminium and powder coating, enabled the vision to be quickly realised.

A sample of Jura limestone was sent to Powdertech where tests of different powders and effects were compared against the limestone which has natural veins of quartz and fossils appearing against a beige background. Test samples were sent back to the client and within four weeks ‘Ballycastle Stone’ was ready to be applied to the panels. It was essential to achieve colour consistency between batches and powder coatings excel in this aspect. The overall effect on the finished building is an homogenous appearance of stone, across the whole, but with variations in flecks of colour against the background, just as in the stone itself. The powder coating will provide excellent corrosion protection and has an external life expectancy of up to 40-years.

“We were delighted to demonstrate our expertise for colour and texture matching and the final result vindicates our passion for this aspect of our work,” concluded Richard Besant.