It’s 23 years since Garry Robinson founded Laversdale Timber. Since then, this Cumbrian firm has steadily grown and developed a reputation for supplying high quality products supported by a top class service.
Based right next to Carlisle Lake District Airport, Laversdale Timber employs 12 and is now partly managed by Garry’s son Harry who joined the business just over two years ago. Garry is still closely involved though albeit on a part-time basis these days.
“I started off doing a bit of everything but now I’m largely focused on management,” explained Harry. “We have two sites. Our 4 acre HQ close to the village of Laversdale and a one acre site over in Wigton which we acquired in 2015.
“We have a manufacturing facility here and two treatment tanks with an additional treatment tank at Wigton which focuses on green and brown supplied by Koppers. They are good reliable partners for what can be a busy operation. We treat to UC3 and UC4.
“Recent years have shown that creosoted timber is becoming people’s first option with demand growing constantly. There is still demand however for the usual Koppers AC500 chemical given price increases and the ongoing uncertainty of supply. My dad would like to see CCA reintroduced but the chances seem slim of that happening.
“We supply trade, agricultural and retail customers with fencing posts, square timber, gates, ironmongery, wire products & roofing materials alongside our timber treatment services.
“Around sixty to seventy per cent of our business is wholesale supplying timber yards, builders’ merchants, landscapers, contractors and the agricultural sector across Scotland and the north of England.
“We source all our sawn products from UK sawmills as well as round posts from the Baltic states and recently Ukraine.
“The last two years have proved to be very busy especially during the pandemic when we saw a big growth in demand on the wholesale front. We did however close our Wigton depot for a spell with our main site able to pick up the slack. Luckily we keep very large stocks which meant we were able to continue supplying customers when timber became scarce.
“Because of our high stocks of a wide range of products and sizes, it means that when someone gives us a ring for something then we’ll probably have it. If we don’t we’ll try our very best to get our hands on it!
“People know what they’re getting with us. We’re not a massive firm and don’t ever intend to be but we are big on honesty and the supply of a range of high-quality products. When you get that right, word spreads and we seem to have a pretty solid reputation.
“We have a loyal base of customers who return again and again. They recommend us to others which is always a good sign. There’s no better marketing than word of mouth!
“We don’t engage in much promotion aside of an online presence and Facebook page which is regularly updated. That delivers a steady stream of enquiries and allows us to interact and engage effectively with customers’ enquiries,” added Harry.
Like all commercial operations Laversdale Timber is prone to the vagaries of fluctuating and, in recent times, rapidly increasing energy costs.
“We deal with these rising costs on a day-by-day basis. There’s nothing more we can do other than absorb what rising costs we can and pass on increased costs in a manageable way. It’s a balancing act and we have to be sensible but I think everyone wants to see a bit of stability return.
“We are in the process of installing another processing plant at our Wigton site. Once this is up and running it will take some strain off our existing manufacturing plant meaning we can cater to customer requirements even quicker,” concluded Harry.
Since their take off in 1999 Garry and, latterly Harry, really are piloting a steady ascent in what are turbulent times.