The latest results of the 2011 Census gives the bathroom industry food for thought, believes Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers' Association.
The Office for National Statistics has released its second set of findings from the 2011 census for England and Wales and, among the raft of information, the change in the population and its living arrangements may help bathroom manufacturers with their portfolio planning.
The population has grown a staggering 7% in just 10 years. This is the largest population growth in England and Wales in any 10-year period since the census began in 1801. There is now enormous pressure on housing stock and, more importantly, there is increased stress on our water resources.
The bathroom industry is playing its part and has moved swiftly in recent years to create products which consume much less water than previously. The rise and rise of The Water Label as a planning, marketing and educational tool reflects the pioneering work of the industry.
Additionally, our population is ageing fast. Those over 90 rose from 336,000 in 2001 to 429,000 in 2011. Again, the bathroom industry is responding to the increasing need for stylish and practical products which are suitable for use by the whole family, including those with special needs. The recently upgraded 'Making Life Easier' website reflects the work which the industry is undertaking.
Regarding our homes,the census found that the number of people privately renting has almost doubled over 10 years and there was a decline in homes owned with a mortgage or loan from 8.4 million in 2001, to 7.6 million in 2011. But there was a rise in homes owned outright, from 6.4 million to 7.2 million. These figures do need some consideration. Bathroom business is being affected, since the average landlord just doesn’t have the bathroom on the top of his priority list.
The BMA represents, through its technical, marketing and management committees, the interests of 55 major bathroom manufacturing groups and service providers with over 80 well-known brands in the marketplace. The manufacturing base directly employs over 10,000 people across almost 80 sites around the UK.
For more information on the Water Label, visit www.europeanwaterlabel.eu
The Making Life Easier website can be found at www.making-life-easier.org