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: Q3 2020

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

We continue to live in uncertain times. Just as quickly as we adapt to a new normal, so another new normal arrives.

The one constant we can be sure of is change; with the challenges of a second lockdown and Brexit coming down the tracks, it is agility that will set us apart.

At Keylite, we continue to adapt our working practices in line with changing guidance, ensuring our team stays safe while continuing to work effectively for our merchant customers.

Last quarter, we reported encouraging volume growth as our customers emerged from lockdown, the so called V-shaped recovery in full swing. A linear recovery continued into Q3, with volumes by the end of the quarter significantly above expectation.

With a greater proportion of the UK population working from home than ever before, the attention of many has turned to improving our homes to better serve the need for separate spaces for work and family life, be that re-purposing existing rooms to loft conversions and extensions. Roof windows and loft ladders fit these needs well and as we enter Q4 we have enjoyed continuing high demand. We’re not alone; the RMI sector is performing strongly, with merchant customers reporting incredibly strong activity levels.

Meanwhile, government policy stimulated construction activity and the clear direction given to construction activity continuing in the second lockdown was welcome. We remain open for business. Together, we’ll keep Britain building.

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.