The £7m facility is being built in Purfleet, Essex, a mile from the M25 and Dartford Crossing on an 11.5-acre mill site once owned by British Gypsum.

The existing panel storage shed has been reclad and fitted with roller shutter doorways and the storage warehouse fitted with a bespoke high-bay storage system. It has guide-aisle technology and mechanical handling equipment manufactured for International Timber.

The mill warehouse has been refurbished and a new floor installed for bespoke timber racking incorporated for the storage of finished timber profiles. The first phase is now fully operational and two more phases are scheduled to begin in June and October.

“Purfleet is ideally located to provide an easily accessible hub for builders merchants, joiners and product specifiers to service their clients across the region,” said International Timber managing director Tony Miles.

“We have invested significantly in the redevelopment of this site and are confident this new state-of-the-art facility will put the south-east back on the map as a hub for timber and panel manufacturing and distribution.”

The project is expected to be completed early next year. The second phase will focus on completing the installation of mill equipment within the new warehouse and will also include the installation of a new substation and associated switch gear.

Work will then begin on the construction of a new warehouse for order-picking as well as a new timber treatment processing plant.

International Timber expects to create about 40 skilled jobs.