Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Major £95million investment at Norbord to put Highlands at forefront of growing European demand

The Norbord factory near Inverness
The Norbord factory near Inverness

One of the north’s biggest employers is to invest tens of millions of pounds in its business to secure scores of jobs in the region.

The £95million modernisation programme will allow Norbord to double production at its mill at Morayhill near Inverness.

And it will safeguard the futures of 130 workers and help support another 300 jobs – many in forestry – in the Highlands.

Yesterday’s announcement from the company was a welcome piece of good news for the region after salmon producer Marine Harvest announced it was axeing 100 jobs and Rio Tinto revealed it was reviewing its smelter operation in Lochaber.

Norbord produces orientated strand board (OSB) – better known as sterling board – which is used in construction and furniture manufacture as an alternative to plywood.

The factory near Inverness was the first in Europe to produce the material when it was built in the early 1980s – and Norbord said the investment would help the Highlands meet growing demand across Europe.

Karl Morris, managing director of Norbord Europe and a senior vice-president of the Canadian parent company, said: “Our SterlingOSB product manufactured in Inverness is the UK’s leading OSB brand, and with direct road, rail and port access the reinvested mill will be in an even better position to efficiently serve our customers across the UK and in continental Europe.

“This investment underscores Norbord’s long-term commitment to Inverness and the Highlands region, and we look forward to continuing to play an important role in the community.”

The investment is supported by an £11.4million development grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The development agency’s chief executive, Alex Paterson, said: “We have been working very closely with Norbord on their development plans and are delighted to be supporting the company to invest so substantially in its Highland base.

“This development will put Norbord’s Inverness plant on a sustainable footing for decades to come, and is a huge vote of confidence in the company’s Scottish workforce.

“It’s worth noting that the positive impact of today’s announcement will be felt well beyond

Inverness and the Inner Moray Firth.

“Norbord is not only a significant local employer in its own right, it also plays an important strategic role in the region’s forestry sector and is a major user of haulage companies and port infrastructure.”

The expanded mill is due to be fully operational by the second half of next year, with no disruption to production in the interim.

The announcement was welcomed last night by Highland MSP and Scottish Government Business Minister Fergus Ewing.

He said: “This is great news for Inverness and a tremendous vote of confidence for the Norbord workforce who have served the company so well for decades.

“An important element of securing the investment was based on long-term reliable timber supplies – a part of which Norbord has won from Forest Enterprise Scotland.

“HIE have worked closely with Norbord for a number of years and this substantial investment is a welcome demonstration of the attractiveness of the whole of the north of Scotland as a prime business location.”

Local MP Drew Hendry added: “This is smashing news. This level of vision and commitment not only secures the long-term future of Norbord, but the economic benefit will be felt across Inverness and the whole of the Highlands.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the local management and the workers at Norbord and it is a far-sighted investment by their main board.

“Having supported Norbord in their ambitions over the past few years I am absolutely delighted at this announcement.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]