The deal is the group’s third significant sawmill acquisition in the last 18 months and pushes its annual sales revenue to more than £120m.

Jeffrey Walker Ltd converts locally grown pine logs into sawn timber for use in pallets and packaging, fencing, garden landscaping, DIY and agricultural products. The business also runs a fencing production line and has two heat-treatment kilns and a pressure treatment plant at its 13-acre site.

“The acquisition of Jeffrey Walker gives us the opportunity to expand our geographic reach and sales volume,” said Terry Edgell, director and co-founder of Premier Forest Group.

 “We can now move further into the north of England and increase our sales capacity for FSC certified fencing, pallet wood and value-added timber products across the group. We have also gained access to a wider range of log types, which will open up new markets to us including USE Class 4 treated fence posts and motorway specification materials.”

He said that following Brexit and the devaluation of the pound, the cost of imported materials had increased significantly, improving the competitive edge of home-grown timber products.

“The Jeffrey Walker mill will allow us to expand our sawmilling capacity across the UK and maximise opportunities for biomass power generation and waste recycling,” he added.

Other recent sawmill acquisitions were Cornish sawmill Duchy Timber in May 2015 and Border Group’s Croespenmaen sawmill in Crumlin, South Wales less than six months before that.