A SAWMILL in the Cairngorms National Park is facing closure with 40 jobs expected to be lost.  

BSW Group, which is headquartered in Earlston in the Scottish Borders, has announced the proposed closure of its site at Boat of Garten. 

The mill, one of the oldest of the group’s seven sawmills across the UK, could potentially shut at the end of September. 

The group was acquired by Austrian timber company Binderholz last year. 

READ MORE: Millions of trees will be planted in England's community forests

BSW Group’s Tony Hackney said: “Since our acquisition by Binderholz, we have continued to make significant investments in technology, innovation and processes, which will enable the business to achieve its future growth plans and efficiency targets.

“However, under the backdrop of a pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, increasing energy costs and a 40-year high in cost of living expenses, the timber industry has experienced a global downturn.

“To counter the impact of this, we have had to make the very tough decision to propose to close our sawmill at Boat of Garten from 30 September 2022.”

SNP MSP for Inverness and Nairn Fergus Ewing said on his social media that "every effort must be made" to keep the employees in work. 

He said: "This is simply devastating news, following as it does closely after the purchase by Binderholz of the BSW business from Endless equity house. Boat of Garten is one of the major industrial sites in the Highlands and major employer in the Strathspey area. 

"I had understood that there were hopes of investment by the company but these have not come to pass.

"I have spoken informally with HIE CEO yesterday & have informed the Scottish Government Minister and have asked that she seek an urgent meeting with the owners of the company.

"Every effort must be made and will be made to find a way of keeping the business at the Boat site and the employees in work. Whilst there is a downturn the sector will recover and there are many opportunities in the sawmilling sector. 

"I am sure that the Scottish Government and the Enterprise agency along with Forest and Land Scotland will make every effort to retain the site and the workforce in employment there."