LIVERPOOL, England - At an awards dinner in Liverpool, England, on July 10, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) received the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Leadership of the Year award. The award entry was put forward by the BCF’s Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, recognizing the significant contribution made by BCF’s Chief Executive Tom Bowtell since he took the helm at the Leatherhead, England-based trade association in June 2012. 

In the last two years, Bowtell has grown membership significantly, reduced overhead costs and delivered a record surplus for the BCF, allowing the federation to have funds to manage its pension deficit. Member satisfaction has grown in all areas, and Bowtell has spent significant amounts of time out visiting members, listening to their needs.

Bowtell was instrumental in implementing a new distance learning business, and his networking skills have enabled the BCF to build stronger relationships with government and other trade associations up and down the supply chain.

On July 23, the federation welcomed the news of a £52 million investment in new and emerging science talent, creating more than 7,800 education and skills opportunities over a two-year period. 

The funding, which is being used to establish the “Science Industry Partnership,” is administered by Cogent, which has recently started working much more closely with the federation.

“This is great news for the coatings sector and will open up new funding opportunities for training, including a new start for the coatings apprenticeship program, which will be launched later this year with local colleges,” said Karen Traies, BCF’s Training Manager. 

Bowtell added, “Interested coatings companies should contact Cogent quickly to open a 'Science Industry Partnership' account, as the funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.”

For more information, contact Judith Holcroft at