Members of the British Home Enhancement Trades Association (BHETA) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining forces with the British Jewellery, Giftware & Finishing Federation (BJGF) in a 95% to 5% victory.
The plan is to form a new 'super federation', which will be an umbrella organisation with a new name and branding to reflect the merge. The BHETA operation will move from its current location at Brooke House in Northampton to the BJGF headquarters in Birmingham, making an administrative saving which can be invested in membership services. Of the associations 300-odd members, 100 cast their vote with 95 voting in favour.
Both associations have signed a commercial 'pre-nup' to ring fence the assets and interests of both parties for the first two years of the union.
BHETA ceo David French said: "With 2008 proving to be one of the most testing economic environments in the 50 years since our Association was formed, this initiative will create a strong and resilient super federation that will represent all our industries powerfully and decisively into the next decade and beyond.
"Whilst many other companies and organisations are facing down-sizing or even closure, we are making this move from a position of strength and we'll continue to operate with a well funded financial base. This new super federation will allow each sector association within it to retain its own voice and control its own destiny, but allow us, as a group, to fund a more comprehensive range of benefits and services to all our members."