Logie Timber investing in equipment for making new products
A LOCAL enterprise has been awarded almost £54,000 by the Moray LEADER Programme to expand its operations and develop new markets.
Logie Timber will use the £53,820.47 towards three items of modern milling equipment for converting softwood and hardwood logs into high quality furniture grade wood and other new products.
The funding will also enable the processing activities of the mill to be carbon neutral through installation of solar PV panels.
Logie Timber is a partnership between Alec Laing of Logie Estate and forester and tree surgeon Mark Councill. They currently employ one full-time mill operator.
They are "absolutely over the moon" about the support.
Mr Councill said: "It would have taken a number of years before we would be in a position to buy the machinery and equipment that funding will allow us to purchase. It will make such a massive difference to us and it will rapidly accelerate the growth of our business.
"The funding means we can secure jobs, plan for the future in an incredibly positive and ambitious way, and we can now look at employing extra staff to keep up with the higher output and new product lines the new machinery will create. It is a very exciting time for our new business!"
Logie Timber encompasses a sawmill, wood drying kiln and showroom to process local Scottish trees and products with a key focus on furniture grade hard wood. The operation is on the site of the original Logie Estate sawmill which was dismantled 30 years ago.
Mr Councill said: "We secured leader funding for 70 per cent of the total costs and the other 30 per cent will be funded ourselves. The new machinery - frame saw, moulder and wide belt sander - will increase our output and create new product lines.
"The solar PV system from local firm AES Solar is to be fitted onto the roof of our bespoke round wood timber frame shed. We always set out to create the business with the lowest carbon footprint we possibly could and the fitting of the solar PV system will allow us to generate all the electricity needed to power all of our machinery. This, along with the planting scheme we have in the pipeline in partnership with the Woodland Trust, will allow us to keep our environmental impact to a minimum."
He added: "We aim to make beautiful Scottish hardwood timber available to everyone and by investing in machinery like this, the customer will be able to come in and pick a stunning piece of timber right off the shelf and take it away without the need to spend hours and hours sanding it down to get it smooth and level."
Logie Timber officially opens with a festival at Logie Steading on May 4 and 5 offering tours, food-based stands and demonstrations.
Mr Councill said: "We have everything from horse logging demos, chainsaw carving, axe throwing, live music, art exhibitions, and hand carving, to children's bushcraft and den building area, tree climbing and a range of food and drink stalls, including a wood and forest themed cocktail bar! The event and parking will be completely free and opening times are 10am to 5pm on both days."