A partnership which aims to strengthen markets for Scotland’s growing timber harvest has been awarded £198,000 European funding.

The Forestry Commission Scotland-led partnership will receive the money from the European Regional Development Fund during the next three years to help small- to medium-sized enterprises in the eastern part of the country with marketing and business development.

The grant will aid companies by enhancing their commercial skills, including e-business, and helping them take advantage of opportunities such as the Scottish Wood Fair, Royal Highland Show, plus Edinburgh and Aberdeen Treefest events.

Businesses set to benefit range from bespoke furniture manufacturers to industrial-scale producers of construction timber products.

Maggie Birley, chairperson of the Association of Scottish Hardwood Sawmillers, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for members of our industry not only to develop their businesses, but also to raise the profile of Scotland’s sustainably-produced forest products.”

Forestry Commission Scotland’s James McDougall will lead the initiative, called the East of Scotland Forest Products Project.