Forest Garden says it has moved to address the sawn timber supply issues experienced by the fencing industry by closing its assembly operations at Lockerbie.
Chief executive Jonathan Halford told diyweek.net that the move will allow Forest Garden to focus on the expansion and development of its sawmilling activities.
"Whilst Forest has the advantage of owning its own sawmills at Lockerbie and Sennybridge, it was still unable to produce enough sawn timber to meet the unprecedented demand caused by the January storms, such that customer orders had to be rationed," he said.
He added that a supply bottleneck was caused by a nationwide shortage of sawn fencing components.
However, Mr Halford stressed that the movement of the manufacturing processes from Lockerbie will create more undercover storage.
"The sawmill can operate on a permanent three-shift system throughout the year and thereby maximise sawn timber supply into its assembly operations," he explained.
Forest Garden will transfer the Lockerbie assembly operation into its two remaining plants at Eardisley and Hartlebury where it already has significant surplus assembly capacity.
Whilst the move will initially mean the loss of up to 70 jobs at Lockerbie employees are being offered work at the two sites as well the Lockerbie sawmill following expansion of its activities in the coming months.