Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling MP visited BSW Timber’s Howie Forest Products site at Dalbeattie last week in the run-up to the election.
BSW Timber has unveiled plans for a £7m investment at the site following the successful acquisition of Howie’s in November 2009.
The Dalbeattie mill is the largest single-location sawmill in UK and BSW plans to invest over £7 million into the site in a drive to increase productivity by more than 50%. The investment means that some 20 jobs have been created in the development phase at the sawmill, which employs now 160 people.
Darling said: “The sawmill is making impressive contributions to the local economy and employment. Growth in the UK economy is reliant on investment by businesses such as BSW in low-carbon and advanced manufacturing solutions.
“I welcome such forward thinking under challenging economic conditions. This Government will do all that it can to help businesses like BSW prosper.”
Tony Hackney, BSW Chief Executive, said: “The Chancellor’s visit is an opportunity to highlight the investment that BSW is making in its sawmills in Scotland and across the UK which underlines our position as the UK’s leading sawmilling business
“It shows our confidence in the growth in demand from the UK manufacturing market for British timber due to a combination of technological advances and the high cost of imports.
The Dalbeattie site will also benefit from investment in a new heat source facility for the operation and kilns. Current plans include the construction of a biomass boiler which will use the site’s natural timber bi-products to produce enough heat energy to sustainably supply the increased demand on the site.