Wentwood Timber branches out
The growing range of uses for natural wood has led to expansion for a Monmouthshire sawmill.
Wentwood Timber Centre near Chepstow has invested in a second sawmill to cope with increased demand for its natural Welsh hardwoods. Oak, ash beech, sycamore and other species are bought from local landowners and transformed into useable products, adding value to the local timber stock.
The centre was taken over in 2011 by Gavin Hyatt, after being run by Monmouthshire Council for several years. When it came up for sale, he saw it as an opportunity too good to be missed. He says that there is a growing recognition of the beauty and versatility of timber for a wide range of uses, and this is helping the business grow.
“I had always seen myself working in this area and I decided to take the plunge,” he said. It is now a family business, and plans are underway to develop the workshop and showroom to display high quality local timber.
“ We are developing the business all the time,” he said. ‘The new sawmill has enabled us to work more easily with smaller logs, and we are investing in the showroom.”
A kiln dries out wood for log burners, and this side of the business is growing rapidly. “As well as supplying the public, we sell to joiners, woodworkers and builders. We are very flexible and are able to accommodate a wide range of requests.”
The business received a £1000 grant from the Kickstart programme, run jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Monmouthshire Council. The programme has supported a number of new and developing businesses in the county in recent years.
Andy Morris Manager in Wales for UK Steel Enterprise said:”The grant programme has proved very effective in offering seed capital to small businesses, to help them start, or to develop. We are delighted that Wentwood Timber Centre has been able to benefit and we wish them all success.”
James Woodcock of Monmouthshire Council added:”The business plays a vital role in adding value to local timber and this grant will help to ensure that it can continue to grow.”
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