Somerset sawmiller AJ Charlton and Sons, which has just had its Royal Warrant renewed, is to invest more than £1m in new machinery to double production for its new softwood market.

The company, which operates one of the UK’s largest hardwood sawmills, diversified into the softwood fencing market last year and the business has gone from strength to strength.

Softwood fencing, posts and rails in standard sizes are on offer, and the company is to launch featheredge boards for solid fencing panels.

With the investment in new machinery, production capacity will increase from 60m3 to 120m3 of softwood products a day.

The company, which has its roots in supplying pit props to the coal mining industry, has branched out from sawmilling hardwood logs in recent years. It now offers a range of finished hardwood products including gates and fencing and has also introduced oak flooring, oak doors and oak dining furniture.

Its gate division is also thriving, with the company launching five new gate styles this year.

The company is delighted with the renewal of the Royal Warrant for the supply of timber and timber products to the Royal household.

It was first granted the accolade in 2000 and has supplied goods to the Royal Household for nearly 15 years, seeing trade increase as its product range has grown.

Chief executive Tony Charlton said: “It is a very great privilege to be among a select number of trade companies in the UK on whom the honour is bestowed.”