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Monday, May 20, 2024

Highland Timber Transport Boost

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Scottish Forestry has awarded £341,000 funding to two projects in the Highlands which aim to improve timber transport in the region.

The funding boost will go towards The Highland Council to improve and strengthen two key haulage routes, making way for around 119,000 tonnes of timber to be safely moved over the next decade.

Strengthening, upgrading works will be carried out on the U1991 road at Glenglass, whilst the U1019 Bohenie Road will be improved to streamline the transport of timber to market.

The grants are from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund (STTF) which pays a contribution to the full costs of the projects, with the remainder being paid for by the Council.   

Announcing the funding boost, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Scotland’s forests and woodlands are a powerhouse in providing economic growth for the country.

“Around £1 billion is currently generated every year and the forest industries support 25,000 jobs, many of which are in rural parts of Scotland.

“With around 7 million tonnes of timber being produced each year by our forests, I’m keen to support the sector get their timber to market safely and reduce any disruption to communities.

“I’m also keen to promote ways which can help decarbonise the way timber is moved and look for new solutions in transporting timber in a way that lessens the impacts on the environment.”

The funding is part of a £2 million Scotland-wide timber transport boost where a number of other projects across the country have received funding.

The key aim of the STTF money is to improve timber transport networks, whilst reducing impacts from lorries on communities and the environment.

Dr William Clark, Scottish Forestry’s Forest Transport & Innovation Advisor added:

“The Strategic Timber Transport Scheme has transcended its original aims.

“Whilst still delivering its core benefits of reducing the impacts of timber haulage on Scotland’s communities, it has also become a focal point for innovation and collaboration across a diverse range of stakeholders.

“Local authorities, forest industry businesses, communities, various agencies and government are all working together on this towards the common goal of a sustainable future.“

To date £86 million funding support for timber transport projects across Scotland has been invested over the past 25 years realising projects worth £130 million through co-funding partnerships, helping 575 projects get timber to market whilst reducing the impacts of more than 1 billion tonnes of timber on communities and improving the environment.

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