Following industry lobbying, the Cabinet Secretary has announced a major boost to the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme for 2017/18 of £7.05m. See http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/news-releases/1711-5m-boost-for-timber-transport-funding
Welcoming this, Stuart Goodall of ConFor says: “This additional funding is fantastic news. It is a real vote of confidence in Scotland’s £1bn forestry sector and the 25,000 jobs it supports. Accessing Scotland’s maturing forestry resource can put pressure on the rural road infrastructure and this additional funding is a vital contribution to bringing more of that to market.”
And in a message to the regional timber transport groups, Roland Stiven (Timber Transport Forum project officer) said: “Great news that we have been given a significantly increased award for the Strategic Timber Transport Scheme for 2017-18. This represents a great opportunity to make a difference, but also a big challenge to develop projects and spend the money in the coming year.
Dates are being set for the next round and we will email those around as soon as they are set. For larger and more complex projects, FCS is piloting a project preparation grant so please contact project officers or myself if you have projects in mind.
To spend this level of budget, we need to maximise co-finance from councils (challenging I know) and from landowners for haul roads. We have also had instances of landowners contributing (additional small amounts) towards public road works improvements schemes that unlock timber. STTS can also support eligible costs of suitable rail and sea haul projects. Realistically we need to maximise resources from all sources to make best use of this government money.”