BSW Timber’s Boat of Garten sawmill, was been visited by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP last week (August 15).
BSW‘s ongoing investment has seen the Boat of Garten mill reach an annual turnover of £10m, employing 62 people in the area’s last real manufacturing base.
The mill now processes some 92,000cu m of roundwood logs each year, creating products for use in the construction, fencing, landscaping and pallet sectors.
Alexander, who is the constituency MP for Inverness, Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey, was accompanied on a tour of site by BSW’s head of public affairs, Hamish Macleod and mill manager David Mills.
Macleod said: “Today’s visit marks the continued success of the Boat of Garten mill which remains one of the biggest and most important employers in the area. The BSW Timber Group is investing over £50million across its sites to increase the supply of homegrown timber.
“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss some of the key issues facing BSW and the wider sector. It is important that the Government works to develop sustainable solutions from UK grown timber to achieve enhanced rural employment, improved trade balance and value added manufacturing capacity.
“Of critical importance is the creation of productive woodland so that the timber sector can continue to develop and grow. We welcome recent reports on the Government’s plans to stimulate house building and we hope to support these efforts along with initiatives to improve the existing housing stock. Timber is a valuable carbon store and therefore should be a key feature of any house building and improvement programmes. ”
BSW Timber’s Boat of Garten site was established in 1965 and now spans five hectares. The sawmill processes FSC certified softwood logs from a catchment area ranging from the Highlands to Perthshire, and supports around 200 indirect jobs from the local haulage, contractor and support industry sectors.