A drive to encourage relationships between Irish building materials suppliers and UK merchants, specifiers, housebuilders and contractors is under way.

Spearheaded by Enterprise Ireland, the initiative is designed to take advantage of the burgeoning trade between the two countries – with Irish building materials exports to the UK now estimated at more than £300m – a 45% increase since 1996.

The push is supported by a number of Irish businesses including timber companies Balcas Kildare, Willamette Europe, Finsa Ltd and Louisiana-Pacific.