Russell Roof Tiles

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Russell Roof Tiles's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Russell Roof Tiles is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Managing Director
Russell Roof Tiles Galloway roof tiles
used on The Paddocks in Oxfordshire
Founded in 1964, Russell Roof Tiles is the largest independent
manufacturer of concrete derivatives in the UK pitched
roofing market. Employing over 150 staff across three
sites in Scotland and the Midlands, the award-winning firm
manufactures almost one million roofing products per week,
and turns over almost £30 million. Managing Director Andrew
Hayward tells
TheParliamentary Review
why the company
continues to thrive in an ever-evolving market and explains that
its products are anchored in the local landscape.
Providing sustainable roofing solutions for both residential and commercial projects
across the UK, we have supplied roofing for prestigious projects including Center
Parcs and the largest MoD housing scheme in the UK. Its products are specified
by the top housebuilders and commercial contractors. Clients include all the major
national housebuilders, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and care
home providers.
Rooftops across Britain
A roof is essential for keeping you sheltered from the elements but it is probably
not something you spend a great deal of time thinking about on a daily basis. Look
up at most domestic properties and many commercial construction projects and
you’ll see an array of roof tiles of different materials, shapes and sizes. Rooftops
across Britain are distinctive, unlike anywhere else in Europe, shaped by the local
availability of raw materials, resulting in the diverse roof styles you see today.
»Managing Director:
»Founded in 1964
»Located in Burton-on-Trent
and Lochmaben
»Services: Roof tile manufacture
»No. of employees: Over 150
Russell Roof Tiles
Architecture owes much to the
traditions of construction dating back
centuries. Today’s landscape reflects the
local availability of building materials,
echoed not only in the buildings but also
what’s on their roof. There are three
main pitched roof tile choices: slate,
clay and concrete. To meet modern
demands for speed and efficiency of
construction, as well as sustainable
requirements, concrete is the number
one choice for modern roofing.
The roofs of new-build housing are
comprised of 75 per cent concrete tiles.
The latest modern manufacturing
techniques are used to create concrete
roof tiles that generally replicate clay
and slate. The challenge is engineering a
tile that has the right colour and finish –
one which looks as good as the natural
version but is quick and easy toinstall.
Dedicated to concrete roof tiles
Russell Roof Tiles is a pioneer of
state-of-the-art roof tile design and
manufacturing. Throughout our almost
60-year history we have focused on
concrete pitched roof tiles production.
We have developed a huge range –
3,500 skews in total – of modern tiles,
including large-format interlocking
tiles, which have the appearance
of clay and slate with all of the
commercial benefits of concrete.
Despite being seen as a modern
material, concrete dates back to Roman
times. Now, manufacturing techniques
have become so sophisticated that
concrete has less of an environmental
impact than natural alternatives
because the embodied carbon of
concrete tiles is half that of clay ones.
It is also designed to be more cost
effective and essentially easier to install.
Investing in the team
At Russell Roof Tiles it’s just as important
to invest in people as machinery. In
a challenging skills market, we’re
committed to upskilling our workforce,
nurturing talent and personal
development. As part of our people
investment, we opened a Technical
Training and Research Centre in 2016.
There is a wealth of long service within
the business, but Russell Roof Tiles,
like other manufacturers, struggles
to attract younger staff. The business
works closely with schools and
colleges – offering graduate schemes,
apprenticeships and a bursary to help
create the next generation.
The expertise and knowledge of Russell
Roof Tiles staff is in demand globally.
The business is part of an international
manufacturing group with sister
companies in Mexico, Texas and
Florida. The UK business leads the way
in the group with product innovation
and staff development, with regular
support visits by UK staff to the USA.
Product innovation
Dedicated to innovation, we were
the first manufacturer to develop
the revolutionary thinner leading-
edge tiles. This is a concrete tile
with the same quality and strength
as a natural tile but far thinner. At
two-thirds the thickness of a normal
concrete tile, this manufactured
product is easier to handle, has an easy
interlocking design, looks aesthetically
pleasing and helps to speed up the
installationprocess. Russell Roof Tiles
concrete roof tiles being
laid on-site
Concrete roof tiles
being fixed
Russell Roof
Tiles is a pioneer
of state-of-the-
art roof tile
design and
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Planners have a huge influence
on roofing across the UK. Product
innovation focuses on meeting the
needs of planners, who together with
architects dictate much of what is seen
on roofs.
As well as innovating product design,
Russell Roof Tiles is a key influencer
within the industry. Mark Parsons,
our technical director, has been
working with leading national bodies
such as the National House Building
Council for over ten years. Since
2014, Mark has been on the technical
team at the Roof Tile Association,
which represents the UK’s leading
manufacturers and focuses on
development and innovation within
the roofing market.
Investing is sustainability
Over the past five years, we have
invested significantly in manufacturing
processes to increase efficiencies
and reduce environmental impact.
This dedication resulted in a new
combined heat and power unit, a more
sustainable option than using power
from the national grid. Generating
electricity when needed, a CHP unit
uses excess heat. Since the unit’s
installation in 2018, Russell Roof Tiles
has seen a 67 per cent reduction in
electricity demand from the grid,
replaced by renewable energy.
From the savings made through
CHP, we’re investing further in
green energy projects across all sites,
including introducing wind, solar and
other opportunities to reduce our
We are also proud to be the first in the
sector to have achieved an excellent
rating of BES 6001: Issue 3 – the
BRE Framework for the Responsible
Sourcing of Construction incorporating
the need for energy efficiency.
Other initiatives include retrieving tiles
in good condition from demolition
sites to be reused. Plastic components
are recycled for use in production,
as is concrete waste and tiles, which
is crushed into aggregate for road
construction usage.
The shape of things to come
With the ongoing nationwide demand
for construction, specifically new-
build homes, a key challenge is speed.
A report by Shelter’s social housing
commission states that three million
new social homes must be built
in England over the next 20 years
to solve the housing crisis. These
properties must meet the demand for
At Russell Roof Tiles we are investing
in technology to speed up ordering
and specification and developing
products that are quicker to install.
In total, approximately £500,000 is
being invested in technology across the
business. We’re also working closely
with developers who are, in particular,
looking at modular construction.
In 1965, the first double Roman roof
tile came off the production line at
our founding Scottish site. Since then,
the company has survived, thrived and
continued to innovate.
At Russell
Roof Tiles it’s
just as
important to
invest in
people as
One of Russell Roof
Tiles’ manufacturing

This article was sponsored by Russell Roof Tiles. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development