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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 13:49 GMT
Sawmill announces expansion plans
An artist's impression of the BSW plant
An artist's impression of the BSW site after the development
A sawmill plans to invest 15m at its mid Wales site over the next three years and create up to 44 new jobs.

BSW Timber already employs 100 in the village of Newbridge-on-Wye, near Llandrindod Wells.

It said the first phase of the project, costing 3.5m, would fund the expansion of a storage area and a preservation plant.

The initial building scheme could be finished by December, subject to planning.

Twenty-four jobs will be created by the first phase of development, with another 20 employees planned by 2008, according to the company.

Powys County Council said it was expecting a planning application from the firm soon.

Paul Barham, chief executive of BSW Timber, said: "Customer demand is fuelling the need for a more diversified and higher quality end product.

"At Newbridge, we plan to create a new timber stock storage area and introduce improved technology - enabling us to produce a higher quality and higher value final product."

A sawmill (generic)
The sawmill has been a big employer in the area for over 20 years
Alex Brownlie, head of operations of BSW in Wales, said the firm was making a "very important statement about the company's long-term commitment to the Newbridge site."

Dr Geraint Davies, Welsh Development Agency's mid Wales executive director, said: "BSW's investment plans deal with the urgent need for more value-added timber processing in Wales - a sector which is critical for the future well-being of our local timber industry.

"With the right training and support, this will create a diverse and well-qualified skills base for the area."

The mid Wales sawmill produces almost 5% of the UK's sawn timber. The company also has a base in the south Wales valleys town of Senghenydd.



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