A specialist manufacturer of timber frame kits has become one of the first companies to take advantage of a new renewable energy capital grant scheme that will protect the environment whilst boosting efficiency in the process.

Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd, which employs more than 100 people in Hereford, has tapped into a £38,500 funding boost from the Rural Regeneration Zone’s £1.5?million RE:think Energy initiative to press ahead with a new biomass system.

Costing over £150,000 when fully installed, it will give the company the chance to re-use their ‘waste’ timber and use the energy created to help heat its factories in and around the Rotherwas Industrial Estate.

It is anticipated that the project will be finished by winter 2009 and, once fully operational, will reduce energy costs considerably, whilst also diverting waste from landfill.

Paul Jury, quality systems co-ordinator, said: “The introduction of the biomass system is an important part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability and is a major investment in boosting our green credentials and improving bottom line performance.

“With the harsh economic climate currently dictating many decisions, we were delighted to be able to secure financial assistance from RE:think Energy and the grant has certainly helped bring the project forward quicker than we could have done so previously.

“It’s a win-win situation in that we are effectively recycling our waste wood, whilst also increasing efficiency and saving money in the process.”

Taylor Lane has been able to offset a lot of the problems faced by the construction industry thanks to the ‘green’ nature of its timber frame kits and the Government’s growing desire to build energy efficient houses. Operating from three sites spread over four acres, the company works with a host of clients from initial design to onsite installation, providing all the necessary materials for the timber frame construction process, including roof trusses, engineered floor systems, timber frame panels and steel manufacture. Its customer list features developers, housing associations, commercial construction companies and self-builders.

Mr Jury added: “There are a lot of benefits from using timber frames in the sector, ranging from less maintenance and greater energy gains, to time savings of up to 50 per cent on conventional methods.

“These huge selling points have enabled us to continue to win new contracts and will ensure the growth of the timber frame industry in forthcoming years.”

RE:think Energy seeks to engage with small and medium-sized businesses keen on exploring environmentally friendly energy improvement and will provide funding towards awareness raising, feasibility services and direct help with the cost of capital investment (up to 50 per cent).

Funded by Advantage West Midlands and managed by Marches Energy Agency in conjunction with Shropshire Council, the initiative will also play a vital role in helping companies capitalise on the opportunities presented by the growing local carbon economy through the manufacture, supply and installation of renewable technologies and services.

Matt Smith, partnerships manager at the Rural Regeneration Zone, said: “It is excellent news that our first grant should go to such a high-profile local company and for a project that will have a major impact on both the local environment and the economy.

“There is significant funding still available and the RE:think Energy team is keen to hear from more businesses looking to follow Taylor Lane’s example and go ‘green’ in a bid to become more efficient and profitable.”