Page last updated at 23:50 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 00:50 UK

20m sawmill plans stay on course

Timber
The company is to more than double its investment in Lockerbie

A 20m sawmill development in southern Scotland remains on schedule despite a downturn in the timber trade.

Larbert-based James Jones and Sons has been forced to close its Dumfries site for a week to try to reduce production.

However, it said the expansion plans it unveiled last year for its nearby Lockerbie plant had not been affected.

Joint managing director Ian Pirie said the firm was not immune to the trade's problems but remained confident the project would be completed next year.

The problems other people are facing in Dumfries and Galloway, our experiences are absolutely no different to them
Ian Pirie
James Jones joint managing director
"The project is absolutely on time," he told the BBC Scotland news website.

"The main sawmill buildings are actually going up."

He said it was hoped the civil engineering elements could be completed later this year, with the mill becoming operational later in autumn 2009.

The scheme will bring the total investment on the Lockerbie site to 35m.

However, Mr Pirie stressed the company was facing the same pressures other firms were under.

Last week, Howie Forest Products confirmed it was seeking redundancies at its Dalbeattie plant.

Full capacity

Mr Pirie said: "The problems other people are facing in Dumfries and Galloway, our experiences are absolutely no different to them.

"We have staved off the biggest hits in production.

"The Lockerbie mill has been running at full capacity but we are having to monitor that on a week by week basis."

He confirmed that a one week shutdown of the Dumfries site had been deemed necessary.

"I wish I could say that is as far as it is going to go," he said.

"It is not only the housing market that is the problem, it is the general manufacturing slowdown."


SEE ALSO
Timber company confirms job cuts
17 Oct 08 |  South of Scotland
Firm unveils 20m sawmill plans
19 Nov 07 |  South of Scotland
Timber company set to cut 70 jobs
27 Sep 07 |  South of Scotland
Timber transport troubles tackled
28 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
Holyrood hears timber trade fears
18 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Timber firm in jobs announcement
17 Dec 99 |  Scotland

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