CR Taylor Timber says it can see the first “green shoots of recovery” in construction after a strong start to the year.

The Denholme, Bradford-based timber merchant reports turnover up 30% in March and February on the same time last year, a “clear indicator that the housebuilding sector is springing back to life”, said sales director Charles Taylor.

“We appear to have turned the corner,” he said. “Business is on the up across all trading sectors, notably housing construction, which has really started to pick up. After selling existing stock, builders are now building again for the first time since 2007. There’s much more confidence out there among both big national and regional small- to medium-sized builders.”

He added that CR Taylor had also boosted its own prospects through the downturn by “remaining proactive and looking to create new business opportunities wherever possible”. It had diversified into new product areas and continued to invest.

Besides new build, the company says it is seeing its DIY business holding up well and there are also signs of improvement in school and hospital construction.

Mr Taylor said that its engineered timber products arm had been “enjoying a resurgence among both public and private sector builders”, with demand increasing for I-joists and roof trusses in particular.

The latter is one area the company has focused on developing, investing £100,000 in technology to make its own products in-house.

To reinforce links with the local building sector, CR Taylor this week sponsored a “construction lunch”, organised jointly with Bradford and Leeds Chambers of Commerce.

Guest speaker, Bradford Council housing head David Shepherd, said that the region anticipates a 30% rise in households in the next 20 years, with plans to build 50,000 homes by 2020.

“We intend to be at the forefront of this regeneration,” said Mr Taylor. “The building blocks for further progress are now in place.”