Richard Wilson, managing director of importer and sawmiller RH Wilson (Lakes) Ltd, said he had not found anyone to take over the Kirkby Stephen-based company, which grades and supplies redwood for specific end use, servicing high-end joinery manufacturers and the furniture component sector.

The company also has a packaging timber division, supplying heat-treated timber to packing case companies.

He said he had advertised nationally, through a government website, and searched the timber trade to find a successor.
If he doesn’t appoint a successor soon, Mr Wilson said there was a possibility he would have to dissolve the company or close parts of it.

"I would like the company to continue so I can step off the treadmill. The last two months have been the best two months we’ve ever had. We are not a bulk distributor, we have a niche market.

"I cannot believe there is nobody prepared to take over the running of a successful and profitable company. Is it that no-one is willing enough to commit the hours or simply not hungry enough to take on the challenge.

"All it needs is for someone with a bit of flare and determination to take the company forward in this ever changing timber trade," he said.

Mr Wilson said he was prepared to hand over ownership of the company, which has a £3m annual turnover, to the right person.

"There are a lot of people I know in the trade with the same problem – what is their exit strategy going to be?"

The company moved to its current site in 2010 in a £560,000 investment and has since expanded to supply the merchanting sector.

Mr Wilson started the business in 1993, building it into a £1.7m-turnover company before selling the redwood side in 2004 with a view to retirement.

In 2007, Mr Wilson resumed control of RH Wilson (Lakes) Ltd, which had got into financial trouble under different ownership, and reintegrated his successful packaging timber business.