A timber processing firm in Nairn is targeting increased production and turnover after installing new automated equipment for handling materials.
Gordon Timber (GT) secured £95,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the total project cost of £900,000.
A new robotic arm and ancillary equipment such as conveyors and stacking turntables will boost the capacity of the existing production line, while also improving health and safety at the plant.
This latest initiative will bring a range of benefits, including supporting jobs and increasing the company’s contribution to the region’s economy.”
Juan Paulo Rodriguez, Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Gordon Timber has been trading in the Highlands for more than 160 years.
The company employs 80 people and is managed by Scott and Rod Gordon, the fourth generation of their family to lead the business.
It specialises in the supply of components for the fencing, construction and pallet and packaging industries.
The firm processes around 150,000 tonnes of locally grown softwood trees annually.
Since 2016 the company has invested more than £1 million a year in automation of the sawmill.
Its latest project is expected to improve global competitiveness, while also helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Gordon Timber said it would lead to an increase in three-year turnover of more than £2m.
Scott Gordon, joint managing director, said: “We are extremely excited about this latest investment, and the harnessing of robotics technology to improve health and safety and boost productivity further.
“The R&D (research and development) element of the project has been a challenge, but through strong collaboration with our supply partners and the enthusiasm and dedication of our project team here at Gordon Timber we are confident of a successful result.
“We also greatly appreciate HIE’s recognition of the timber industry’s importance to the Highland economy and their financial support for this project.”
Range of benefits
Juan Paulo Rodriguez, business development manager with the inner Moray Firth team at the enterprise agency, said: “Timber and forestry are major contributors to our regional economy, and important rural employers.
“For many years, Gordon Timber has continued to be an important part of this bigger picture. The company has remained ambitious and shown steady growth.
“This latest initiative will bring a range of benefits, including supporting jobs and increasing the company’s contribution to the region’s economy.”