Economic boost for Argyll timber

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A new floating pier is to be built on the shores of Ardcastle Forest in West Argyll which could unlock an estimated £10 million of the region’s growing timber supplies.

With harvesting on the increase and the nearby Ardrishaig Pier already extremely busy, the new pier on the National Forest Estate will boost the ability for shipping greater quantities of timber to wood processors.

With a £123,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Strategic Timber Transport Scheme, an estimated 250,000 tonnes of timber could be shipped off the Ardcastle pier over the next 10 years.

The additional shipping facilities will be able to take larger boats in deeper water and cut down the need for using timber wagons on fragile rural roads, saving 3.5 million lorry miles.

Welcoming the new investment, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“This development is excellent news for the economic growth of Scotland’s economy.

“By increasing the capacity of timber transport facilities in Argyll, we are providing the sector with a further opportunity to build on our £1 billion forest industry success story. 

“I met the Timber Transport Forum last month and highlighted the importance of good transport solutions to help maximise business growth. I am very keen to keep driving this forward, stimulating opportunities to improve Scotland’s rural economy."

The funding is being awarded to John Scott Floating Piers Ltd who will be taking forward the delivery of the pier. Through his company, Mr Scott will be making the pier’s facilities open to all users who wish to transport timber. 

The pier and shore-side infrastructure is planned to be around 3,500 m2 in size and will be able to stack around 3,000 tonnes of timber in advance of a vessel arriving.

John Scott, of JST Services added:

“I am delighted to receive this grant which will help improve the flow of timber from the forests of Argyll to processors and help to increase the volume of timber transported in a sustainable manner.”

The building of the new pier will underpin a long term contract between Forest Enterprise Scotland and wood processing company Norbord.

Kevin Thomas, UK Wood Supply Manager at Norbord said:

“We are delighted to be able to offer our support for this project. 

“The opening of this pier is aligned with our investment plans at Inverness and the subsequent increase in raw material demand that follows.

“Norbord is committed to modal shift on both raw material and finished product wherever practicable and the opening of this facility allows us to do this on volumes purchased from Argyll.” 

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.