Expert for Roof Windows

Jim Blanthorne

Managing Director


Jim Blanthorne

With a career spanning 20 years in the supply of building materials to merchant and retail customers, including 14 years in a senior capacity at Metsa Group, Jim brings extensive construction industry experience to this category. Recently appointed to Managing Director of Keylite Roof Windows, Jim joined the Keystone Group in 2016 as International Operations Director for the business. During this time he has led the development and implementation of ambitious investment programmes to progress and future proof the business. Central to Jim’s approach and drive is his passion for exceptional customer service, people development and operational excellence.

Keylite Roof Windows

Keylite Roof Windows was established in Cookstown, Northern Ireland in 2001, as a subsidiary of the Keystone Group. Today it is the fastest growing roof window manufacturer in Europe and one of the biggest brands in the UK roof windows market. This success is largely a result of a company which has been driven by an ingrained and intuitive spirit of innovation, continuous investment in R&D and a total commitment in putting the customer at the heart of its business.

Renowned for its award winning innovations, Keylite believes in continually adding value to the Keylite Roof Window as standard without compromise. A combination of unique patented technologies such as the Integrated Expanding Thermal Collar, Flick Fit Brackets, Unique Sash Finger Spring and recessed fit feature in every window.

Keylite offers a full range of roof windows products, designed for every size and category of building project, an extensive range of genuine Keylite Blinds, as well as roof window accessories including timber loft ladders, flashings and electric operation kits. Ongoing expansion of the range includes a range of flat roof solutions including Roof Lanterns, Flat Glass Rooflights and Sunlite systems.

The business has over 300 employees across its sites, with offices in Northern Ireland and Burton Gateway, South Derbyshire. The relocation in 2019 to brand new 40,000 sq ft office and warehouse premises at Burton Gateway greatly enhances Keylite’s ability to service and supply the UK and Ireland markets more effectively. Keylite’s roof windows are manufactured in Poland, in a 160,000 sq ft factory which has benefited from a significant investment programme during recent years, significantly improving the safety, quality and reliability of manufacturing activity.

Find out more at or visit the Keystone Group website at

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Keylite Roof Windows Comment: Q2 2020

Jim Blanthorne Managing Director of Keylite Roof Windows is BMBI’s Expert for Roof Windows.

Our professional and personal lives have been massively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, posing unexpected challenges for us all – 2020 has certainly been an eventful year for Keylite, the construction products market, the UK and the world as a whole.

Keylite remained open throughout lockdown, albeit with a skeleton crew and special safety measures in place, in order to maintain essential supply to our customers many of whom continued to trade throughout the quarter. During April and May, sales of roof windows were significantly impacted, dropping to 50% of the previous year. However, through June, July and early August sales have increased to levels close to expected performance.

Feedback from our merchant partners and other suppliers in the industry would suggest that this trend is common, and with a sudden return to normal volumes we are hearing anecdotal reports of supply chain issues in various sectors of the construction product market.

As we move into Autumn and Winter, amidst the economic uncertainty with which we are currently presented, Keylite is planning for sales to continue at today’s levels, however we stand ready to respond to category challenges as the market situation becomes clear. Slow and steady best describes the new build market in June and July.

While RMI remains strong, only time will tell how this continues. Most homes were not designed for working from home and many homeowners are adapting their homes to this new normal, or plan to. The concept of a room in the roof has never been so relevant. A recent research of UK homeowners by (2020 Renovation Nation Report) finds that spending more time at home has inspired almost two thirds (65%) of homeowners to invest in renovating their property, and 63% of them investing to make their home more comfortable.

The recent increase in housing market activity prompted by the government’s stamp duty changes is extremely welcome.

The Keylite team is working smarter, using technology that has now become the norm for us all and we continue to support our customers and the market as a whole.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.