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Nairn sawmill expansion set to create more jobs

Published: 08/02/2021

Plans by a family-owned business undergoing an initial £250,000 investment, are expected to create two new jobs and boost turnover.

Juan Paulo

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) awarded Tulloch Timber (Nairn) Ltd £35,858 contribution to support its expansion project. The development includes installing a new chipping canter machine, which will speed up the production process to make it more efficient.

Tulloch Timber has been supplying sustainable Scottish softwood products from the production site at Grigorhill Industrial Estate in Nairn for nearly thirty years.

All timber is home grown and sourced from forests within a 100-mile radius of the mill. Customers include fencing, pallet, agricultural and construction industries across the UK.

The firm has invested significantly in the business and has the largest sawn timber sorting line, under one roof, in Europe. As part of the project, new wood chip conveyors will also be installed and a storage bay will be built, which will collect the wood chips produced by the chipping canter. As chips are a valuable co-product, it will provide the firm with an opportunity to capitalise on this area and expand the firm's original customer base. 

Once installed, the new machinery will improve production and efficiency, generating an additional volume of sawn products. Plans in the second phase of this project include introducing a new line of horizonal resaws.

Twenty multi-skilled people are employed in the production process, many of whom have been with the company since its inception. The new jobs will focus on more technical processes and allow the company to diversify in producing more value-added products.

Juan Paulo, account manager at HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, said: “The new machinery will improve production and lower costs by reducing the number of saw cuts needed. This will also allow them to explore new markets and take on new employees.

“At a time when businesses continue to face challenging operating and trading conditions, this expansion project is welcome news from Tulloch Timber. The company has worked hard to adapt and continue to grow, and we are very much looking forward to working with the company as they progress this project.”

Managing director, Caroline Gordon runs the site in Nairn. She said: “Sales have been increasing over the years, although last year had been challenging amidst the uncertainty of Brexit. We are diversifying, which will help us bounce back. With HIE’s assistance, we can invest in new machinery that will increase our capacity as well as safeguard and create new jobs in our local community. It’s a great opportunity for us and it will help us secure new business in the future as well as take on two new employees.”

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