After 36 years, independent business Forestrall Timber & Fencing Merchants has opened a second depot in Kent.

The business has traded from the Old Woodyard, Watling Street, Bean, since 1979. It is a traditional type of merchant serving both public and trade, and has maintained its commitment to concentrating wholly on timber and allied products.

Managing director Chris Porcas completed a nine-year buy-out of the equity of the Bean-based business from two retiring directors in August this year and, having seen the business grow some 80% in the past five years, felt now was the right time to branch out.

The densely populated Medway towns were seen as a strong growth market and, teaming up with a longstanding business contact already based in Gillingham, a business plan was formulated to deliver a depot offering identical products and services to the Bean headquarters.

Mr Porcas said: "While the Bean branch already fares very well serving the Medway towns, customers do not like venturing too far for materials and we felt it important to place ourselves among them, but still only 20 minutes travel time from our primary operation.

"We have very strong demand for products like railway sleepers, decking, mouldings, boards and our quick turnaround cutting and milling service. Given that we supply both public and trade and we have a larger delivery fleet than most, we feel strongly we can be the friend of the Medway towns when it comes to timber needs. Our various online shops even remove the need for people to come into store if they are short on time."

The new branch is due to open on 1 December, 2015, in Lidsing Road, Gillingham.