New log grading line for A&J Scott20 October 2021
Installation of the new log grading line is now under way at A&J Scott as phase 1 groundworks have been completed.
The £6m project marks the latest investment in future production capacity at the Northumberland-based sawmill, one of the UK’s leading independent mills.
Having completed purchase of the 20 acre site adjoining its main sawmill site last year, the family-owned company pressed ahead through the Covid disrupted year in planning installation of the new high-speed log grading line supplied by Broadbaek & Co of Denmark.
Before installation could begin, the company faced the mammoth groundwork task of integrating the site into its existing operations, removing 12,000 tonnes of topsoil, 140,000 tonnes of sand and gravel and pouring 6,000m3 of concrete to work on, all made more complicated by the supply difficulties surrounding labour, transport, concrete and steel over the last year.
With the first section of the site now ready for installation of the grading line, machinery is being delivered and installation has begun on site. The new grading line will be supplied via a newly laid road into the site served by a new weighbridge and extended log storage areas. The company aims to have the line fully installed for testing before the end of 2021, building up to full operational capacity before the key spring fencing season in early 2022.
This follows a period in which the business has invested over £9m in new capital equipment, including a major upgrade to the main sawmill, construction of a new fully automated bandmill, installation of a new state-of-the-art processing and handling line for re-saw operations at the site and also the purchase in 2019 of the Chirnside Sawmill near Duns in the Scottish borders.
The company is now well positioned for sustained growth in its main markets for fencing products, railway sleepers, garden product components and other outdoor timbers in the years ahead, building on its record of delivering quality sawn timber products and high standards of customer service to its loyal base of customers across the UK. The company has also extended its product range, adding NHSS4 highways standard fencing to its existing fencing ranges and developing the offer of high quality potato and vegetable storage boxes it has long produced.
“Our excellent relationships with our customers give us the confidence to plan and invest for the future,” said Robert Scott, managing director. “This new line is the first investment made possible by the addition of this land to our site, and, with further planned investments to come, will enhance our sawmilling output, product quality and service standards in the years to ahead.”