With the scene set, the red carpet rolled out, and the host straight from Hollywood, there was only one way this year’s Great Gatsby-themed Independent Network Members’ Weekend could go; here’s the official review…

The annual Independent Network Members’ Weekend is a great opportunity for fabricators and fitters to get together, catch up, ‘talk shop’, and have some fun. And just like any literary or cinematic masterpiece, the weekend had a perfectly thought-out beginning, middle, and end.

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On ‘location’ at the Queen’s Hotel, Leeds, the event started with the Affiliates Business Centre. One of the major perks of being a part of Independent Network is the ability for companies to retain their individuality within their own regions, while also having the backing of a national brand and the buying power that comes with that. 25 affiliate partners came to the centre this June; offering deals, discounts, and development hints and tips for compliance, websites, qualifications, sales training, workwear, recycling, business coaching, conservatory roofs, hardware, installer products, and more.

Next up was the official AGM with a great line up of presentations. First, VEKA UK Group MD Dave Jones welcomed members to the event, then Graham Fitton, Finance Director outlined the accounts for the past 12 months; before Marketing Director Dawn Stockell gave the latest Independent Network branding information and marketing news; and last-but-not-least Neil Evans, Sales Director, gave his Industry Insight into fenestration and environmental sustainability.

New for 2019 was an interactive Q&A with members to share ideas and information. The Independent Network team works in partnership with members to constantly refine the organisation’s offering, and this was a good opportunity to hear installers’ thoughts on current consumer attitudes etc.

After a short interval, and a ‘costume change’, the illustrious Awards Evening and Gala Dinner was next up. This year, the host was silver screen and television star Warwick Davis, with movie credits that include Willow, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and television roles in Life’s Too Short, Extras, and his current Tenable quiz show.

Awards are based on customer satisfaction surveys from throughout the year, value of sales, quantity and quality of projects completed, and also the outstanding achievements of individual members of staff.

And the winner is…

National Awards:

Mews Windows

Mister Window Company

Eddisbury Construction Co Ltd

Rugby Double Glazing Ltd

Goliath Homeworld Limited & Hallmark Windows (Harrogate)

Heavers of Bridport Ltd

Frames Conservatories Direct Ltd

100% Customer Satisfaction:

Cowen Windows Limited

Sales Representative of the Year:

Adam Hammill: BH Solutions Ltd t/a The Home Design Group

Fitter of the Year:

Nick Burtin-Legge: J & P Home Improvements Limited

On handing out the awards, Warwick Davis commented: “It’s impressive to be nominated among such professional company, so being named a winner is an achievement indeed. Congratulations to all. I’ve been really impressed with everything I’ve seen, and have enjoyed celebrating and being a part of the Network for the evening!”

This weekend wouldn’t be complete without cutting some shapes on the dance floor, raising a glass (or two) with friends, and drumming some money for charity. With generous donations to the table collections – plus proceeds from a raffle and auction – a combined total of £5,500 was raised for this year’s nominated charities: From Russia with Hope, and We Mind & Kelly Matters.

Special thanks go to the weekend’s main sponsor FENSA Ltd, and the team who were on hand at the Business Centre to answer any questions members may have had about legislation, self certification and the organisation’s new, consumer TV campaign featuring Harry the Installer.

Thanks also to Chick Plastics, Dugdale Ltd, ERA Home Security, EWS Manufacturing, Glazerite UK Group Ltd, GQA Qualifications, Prefix Systems (UK) Ltd, and Renolit Cramlington Ltd.

To find out how you could become an Independent Network member (and join us at next year’s event) visit and click on ‘Independent Network Trade’.