Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury and member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has visited TTF member Rowlinson Timber and Packaging operations in Wardle, Cheshire.

Ms Sandbach was welcomed to the site by Richard Smith, managing director of Rowlinson Timber, as well as John Williams, managing director of Rowlinson Packaging and Charles Firth, managing director of Rowlinson Garden Products. The visit enabled an open discussion on some key issues experienced by local businesses in Cheshire. In particular, the discussion focused on the campaign for better broadband and phone services in rural areas, the biomass subsidies strategy and the government apprenticeship training scheme.

Ms Sandbach was also given a tour of the extensive Rowlinson facility in Wardle, which employs around 250 workers. The 50 acre site allows the manufacturing and storing of a full range of timber products including softwood carcassing, structural beams, high quality wooden packaging, pallets and garden buildings.

Mr Williams said: “We are glad to welcome our local MP here. We have never had this opportunity before and we are grateful to the Timber Trade Federation for this. Finally we were able to put some of our problems and issues to our representative in Westminster and we are confident that something will be done”.

Ms Sandbach was impressed with the manufacturing capability of the operation and proud of the contribution it gives to Eddisbury area economy. She said: “It’s great to see a British company using British products operating in my constituency. Timber is a key concern for the UK economy and we need to make sure it continues to be included in Westminster agenda.”

Recently, Ms Sandbach agreed to join the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries aiming to promote the use of timber UK-wide and support local timber-related companies. Promoted by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), the new APPG has cross-party support with more than 40 parliamentarians including MPs representing Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Liberal Democrats and Northern Irish parties.

David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation said: "It's great to see MPs taking a more active interest in our sector and I would like to thank Ms Sandbach for this visit. The timber industries form a very valuable and vital supply chain in the UK. We will be doing a lot more work this year through the CTI and the APPG to promote our members and raise their concerns with national policy makers."