Though its annual conference and awards could not go ahead as planned, National Buying Group (NBG) has continued to celebrate the success of Suppliers as the 2020 Annual Supplier Awards were held virtually on 25 November.

As with previous years, Partners voted for the Supplier of the Year in each of NBG’s eight Category Management Teams (CMTs), as well as Product of the Year and Brand of the Year in both the heavyside and lightside sectors. However, this year a brand-new category was added, and Partners were asked to vote for their NBG Lockdown Hero.

The awards ceremony is usually the pinnacle of the NBG annual conference, with more than 600 Suppliers, Partners and guests in attendance. With Covid-19 restrictions remaining in place around the country, NBG epitomised the adaptability of the independent merchant sector, hosting the event virtually.

The winners for the eight Category Management Teams were: Forterra Building Products (Brick & Block), Pavestone (UK) Ltd (Civils & Landscaping), TIMco (Decorating, Hardware & Kitchens), Mannok (General Building), Merlyn (Plumbing, Heating & Showrooms), Knauf Insulation Ltd (Roofing & Insulation), Toolbank Ltd (Tools & Workwear) and Caledonian Plywood Co (Timber).

Product of the Year was won by Mannok for its Master Grade Cement and the Brand of the Year award was taken home by Mannok (Heavyside) and TIMco (Lightside).

Mannok swept the board after a special award was also unveiled this year to celebrate NBG’s Lockdown Hero. Mannok was presented with the award for an outstanding contribution to the NBG community during lockdown and how they went the extra mile to communicate with and support Partners.

Over 300 Partners, Suppliers and friends of NBG logged on to watch the virtual ceremony and celebrate together with surprise party games, drinks and nibbles. The immersive awards event was made possible thanks to support from a number of Suppliers: Polypipe, TIMco, Toolbank, Forterra, Knauf, Quinn, Marshalls, Arbor, Everbuild, Aliaxis, Siniat, VELUX and Aggregate Industries.

Nick Oates, Managing Director of NBG, said: “The NBG conference is the highlight of our calendar year and although we couldn’t be together in person, we thought it was important that we still celebrated our Suppliers. Although the ceremony was held virtually, there was no loss of atmosphere and we were still able to recognise success with equal enthusiasm as at previous events. We are so grateful for the support from Suppliers that meant the awards could continue. Another big well done to all our winners and we look forward to celebrating in person as soon as we can.”