The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, has announced that Paul von der Heyde, Chairman of the British Furniture Confederation, has been installed as its new Master.

The annual installation ceremony took place St Mary-le-Bow church, followed by a celebratory dinner at the Mansion House. As well as installing the new Master, the event included an awards ceremony.

Paul von der Heyde, who succeeds Jonathan Hindle, says: “I’m very proud to be taking the helm at a key moment for our industry. Our role is to support and provide leadership to the furnishing industry, inspiring excellence with our Guild Mark awards, educating and building the workforce of the future, and helping those in need.

“The industry’s trade balance is negative and we must strive to redress that, competing better at home and expanding our exports. We must encourage our designer’s creativity, support our manufacturers’ effectiveness and deliver the right products at the right price and in the right time frame to our retailers.

“It is down to each one of us, as members of The Furniture Makers’ Company, to lead by example, focus on what we can influence and build our future ourselves. My year will be about engaging with our purpose and actions.”

At the event three awards were made:
• a Lifetime Achievement Award for Roger Richardson RD, FRSA.
• the Claxton–Stevens Prize for Best Bespoke Guild Mark piece for the Zoetic Chest of Drawers, designed by David Young and made by Ross Norgate, of Young & Norgate.
• the Sustainability Award presented to Premiere Furniture, for excellence in furniture manufacturing sustainability.