Get to grips with stone at the Natural Stone Show

The chances are your money will be put to better use if you buy some machinery with it than if you give it to the government in taxes.

Even the government agrees. It urgently wants to see productivity in the UK improve, which is why Chancellor George Osborne doubled the annual investment allowance last year to £500,000 – which means you can claim for investments of up to £500,000 in the same year as you make them.

Add to that the Regional Growth Fund paying a deposit of up to 20% of the price of the machine for many (as long as you are not in London) and the pound starting 2015 stronger against the Euro than it has been for years (effectively cutting the price of machines imported from Europe, as most of them are) and why wouldn’t you upgrade your workshop now?

But what is right for your business?

A good way to find out the latest developments in machinery and make your investment choices is to visit the Natural Stone Show at ExCeL London 28-30 April.

The two-yearly Show is 20% bigger this time than it was last time with even more machinery on show – and it’s all together under one roof to help you make your purchasing decisions.

There are CNC bridge saws, quarry saws and smaller bench saws, CNC workcentres, edge polishers, waterjet cutters and more. Innovations include a new machine being introduced by Pat Sharkey Engineering on behalf of Lovato Evo of Italy that cuts irregular pieces of stone into flats and corners for walling and cladding in a continuous process. Pat and his son, Neil, will be happy to talk to you about it on their stand.

As well as the machinery itself, there is handling equipment, water treatment plant and dust suppression equipment, and all the tools, chemicals and consumables you need on an every day basis in your workshop and onsite for glueing, sealing, fixing, finishing and maintaining stone.

Brands represented include Breton, Fantini, Intermac, Omag, Thibaut, Achilli, Terzago, Gilbert, Spielvogel, GMM, Pellegrini, Emmedue, MarmoMeccanica, Cobalm, Montressor, Flow, Bellinzoni, Weha… more than 50 of them altogether, making up about a quarter of the companies represented at the Natural Stone Show.

Some of the makers are already represented in the UK and Ireland by agents such as Breton UK, D Zambelis, Roccia Machinery, Stone Equipment International, Pat Sharkey Engineering, Waters Group and others that will be exhibiting at the Natural Stone Show.

And that, of course, is in addition to all the stone being shown from around the world, including more British stone than ever before.

Then there is the Stone & Conservation Conference being held on the floor above the exhibition that has become a feature of the stone industry calendar in its own right, attracting not just the industry but also its clients, architects and engineers, as well as planners and conservation officers from local authorities.

Registrations for the Natural Stone Show 2015 are already ahead of this time for the previous Show. If you have not registered yet, you can do so (free) on the Stone Show website,, where you will also be able to find out more about the exhibition.