RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans officially opened the latest development by Bowland Bioenergy.
Based on Downham Estate, the business supplies wood chips and wood pellets for environmentally-friendly heating systems across Lancashire and its surrounding counties.
Its new 8,000 sq. ft storage and processing unit, based on one of the estate’s existing farms, has been built with the help of a £29,000 grant from the European Agricultural Fund’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), administered by DEFRA (Departmanet for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
This sees the company into a new development phase, enabling it to increase the quality and quantity of its product, regardless of the weather.
Bowland Bioenergy already supplies 10 Lancashire schools and a number of similar large customers with wood chip and pellet, as well as more than a dozen smaller users. All the timber from which the fuel is produced is harvested from local and sustainable woodlands.
Director Mike Ingoldby said: “Wood chip and pellet heating is an increasingly popular option in both the public and private sector, as everyone drives to keep heating costs down while sourcing environmentally friendly solutions from their local area. We are seeing a real boom in demand at the moment as our products are significantly less expensive than most fossil fuels, and also attract government support through the Renewable Heat Incentive.”
The company currently employs two full-time and two part-time staff, as well as having transport contracts in place with local haulage firms. Two further part-time staff have now been employed by the business to help meet the growth in demand.
On opening the latest development, Nigel Evans said: “This is a great new Ribble Valley business that uses resources from previously undermanaged local woodlands, and turns them into useful and environmentally friendly heating solutions.
“Bowland Bioenergy is certified to the highest industry standards for the quality of its management and product. It is always worth re-iterating for the public that for every single tree in this country that is felled for fuel, at least two new ones are planted. Another good, and long term, reason to choose Lancashire’s own wood to keep you toasty warm in this cold weather!”
For more information on Bowland Bioenergy visit www.bowlandbioenergy.co.uk or contact Ralph Assheton on 01200 441219.