• Dave Ruston

Road to Recovery: COVID-19 research

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

COVID-19 has crushed parts of the Plumbing and Heating Sector, with many sole traders and businesses taking radical decisions to survive through lockdown. But what does the future hold now the economy is gradually reopening for business?

To start understanding how the sector can get back onto its feet, familiar names from across the sector are again coming together to help give installers a strong collective voice.

The results of this new survey will help our sector:

• Form a picture of what life is really like for tradespeople as we come out of lockdown,

• Understand how things have changed since the early days of the crisis, and which challenges remain,

• Provide strong, real-time evidence to lobby policymakers and decision makers in Government,

• Shape the types of services, products and support that the P&H sector will need to help it fully recover.

Eureka! Research has once again taken the lead to deliver a second iteration of this consultation, this time focusing on themes around recovery, support and safety. We have pulled together an even stronger cross-sector working group containing more representative bodies and even more well-respected brands with the aim of once again consulting with as many installer businesses as possible.

To also help those on the tools get back on their feet, a prize fund competition worth £4,500 is available to each plumbing and heating business who takes part in the new survey. There are no less than 15 chances to win from an amazing pot – including products, tools and tech for a range of different installers.

This new study builds on work undertaken in April 2020 when Eureka! undertook a comprehensive analysis of the early stage impacts of lockdown on our sector and the report was widely disseminated (for free). We have maintained a core of questions from the first survey to ensure a degree of ‘data tracking’ can be undertaken so we can analyse how businesses have adapted.

Eureka! Research is once again the driving force behind this new consultation.

Registration is now open to those working in organisations and brands who would like to secure early access to the survey findings – click here to register your interest

John Newcomb, Chief Executive Officer, Builders Merchants Federation, says: “With prolonged enforced closures and delays in the materials supply chain it is more important than ever that we understand how our trade customers are coping and adapting as they return to work. Thus, we are supporting Eureka! Research in their unique initiative to understand the changing landscape in Plumbing & Heating. We would encourage as many of our Members and their customers to get behind this campaign as possible.”

Chris Yates, Director, CORGI Services Ltd, also adds “Installers are coming to terms with new ways of working in what we hope are COVID secure environments. We encourage all plumbers and heating engineers who run businesses in the sector to tell us how this is going and how we can all contribute to a recovery plan for the sector. Well done to Eureka! Research again for pulling so many organisations together for this common cause.”

Tim Sainty, CIPHE Membership Director, comments "The first time this survey ran, we were able to identify just how seriously the response to COVID-19 was affecting the UK Plumbing and Heating Industry and to shape our response and advice accordingly. To continue in this role, it is essential that we track the industry response to the changing environment. Policy makers may advise us that the country moves from one threat level to another but how people are actually behaving, issues encountered and its changing impact on the economy can only truly be reported and acted upon by exercises such as this. "


# The cross sector working group drawn together by Eureka! includes: BMF, BMA, CIPHE, APHC, HHIC, CORGI, BIKBBI, Installer Magazine, Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, Glow-worm, Geberit, Mira, Polypipe, Bristan, Coram Showers, Impey Wetrooms, and Salamander Pumps.

Terms and conditions for the prize draws can be found here.

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