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No window of opportunity in doors market

THE UK market for domestic doors and windows will see negligible growth this year, according to research just published.

The report, by Chester-based Market Strategies for Industry (MSI), examines changes in the market during the past five years. It concludes that a depressed housing market and government cuts in the Housing Corporations budgets have combined to slow the market to almost zero growth.

Sales of domestic doors, windows and conservatories rose just 1 per cent to reach a value of 2.98 billion in 1995.

Despite this apparent growth, MSI believes the value of the market decreased in real terms throughout the review period, with the exception of 1994, when a small rise was recorded.

Recovery for the doors and windows sector could start next year, says MSI.

The rate of growth is expected to increase between 1997 and 1999 and then slow with the onset of the expected downturn in construction activity towards the turn of the century, says the report.

Manufacturers are less gloomy about their industrys prospects. John Fletcher, marketing director with John Carr Joinery, identified two factors which could improve market conditions for the industry.

One was the National Lottery. That could help the repair and maintenance sector. A certain amount of money is bound to find its way into the system.

The other factor was the maturing of the first TESSA accounts, which could boost the home improvement market. People are talking about billions of pounds being paid out. So a lot of people will have some taxfree money to spend, said Mr Fletcher.

WONDERWALL: Some 78,500 sq m of partitions supplied by Lafarge Plasterboard have been installed by specialist contractor B&K Leeds at the new 80 million wing at Leeds General Infirmary. Drywall solutions were chosen, ranging from standard height screens to Jumbo stud walls rising 7.2 m on the buildings top floor. Most of the partitions are constructed using metal studs in conjunction with a double layer of 9.5 mm Lafarge Wallboard.