Expert for Plumbing & Drainage

Charles Burns

Divisional Director


Charles Burns

Charles Burns is Divisional Director for Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage, and with 25 year’s experience in the construction products industry, brings extensive insight to this category. Charles joined Brett Martin in 2018 and has led an aggressive expansion of the business with a focus on delivering leading levels of customer service to builders’ merchants.

Prior to joining Brett Martin, Charles trained as a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with PWC and worked for Kingspan for 19 years, leading a Global Business Unit in the Water and Energy Division.

Brett Martin Ltd

With more than 60 years’ manufacturing experience in the building materials market, Brett Martin remains family owned with a 1000 strong workforce, operating from multiple sites across the UK.

Known for reliable customer service, dependable product quality and a consistent partnership approach with merchants, Brett Martin is a preferred supplier across a number of sectors, and remains the UK’s largest independent supplier of plumbing and drainage products.

Continued investment in the business is driving product innovation and supporting carbon reduction initiatives including onsite solar and wind generated renewable energy, supporting a new generation of low carbon construction products.



Twitter: @BMDrainage

Brett Martin Comment: Q3 2023

The third quarter of 2023 has continued in the same theme set by the first two quarters of the year, with the typically busy months quiet and the reverse for typical holiday months. July and August were busier than we expected but we saw a falloff in September which has continued into Q4.

Recent NHBC data highlighting a 57% drop in Q3 private registrations is worrying and recent announcements from the Bank of England indicate that interest rates will be held high for a longer period than planned to break inflation. Brett Martin products are typically used early in the build cycle and we are now seeing both the Tier 2 and Tier 3 house builders slowing down new site openings faster than expected.

The prospect of a general election in 2024 will ensure continued indecision from government, inevitably delaying economic recovery and particularly its negative effect on the construction sector. The Money Market’s reading of the recent Autumn announcement will be for interest rates to remain at the current level for the medium term, again, delaying any recovery to the construction market.

As a privately owned business Brett Martin takes long term investment decisions helping to position the business for the inevitable upturn in construction. Historically significant long-term investments in renewables, including an on-site 100 meter, 2.3MWp Wind turbine and a 6.42MWp Solar Farm will ensure the company maintains its competitiveness into the 2030’s and beyond. Looking ahead for growth, we have recently embarked on a major increase in productive capacity. This will ensure we are ready to meet the demands from our customer base when the underlaying demand for UK housing is reignited by a softening of the current economic trends.

While the current weakening market brings pressure to merchants and manufacturers alike, Brett Martin continues to invest in the resources to enhance service to our growing merchant base, enabling them to deliver a superior package to the construction trade.

Given the multiple forecasts for a flat market in 2024 we must plan appropriately and look forward to some light at the end of the tunnel toward the end of 2024.