A Campbeltown farm owner has set up a new business producing biomass fuel and livestock bedding from unwanted wood.
David Ralston launched Rhoin Wood Renewables with support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, recycling waste wood which can then be used for animal bedding, livery yards, gardens, pathways or play areas.
Gaining his waste carrier, storage and processing licenses from SEPA, David approached CS Wind to remove the dozens of wooden pallets from its factory. The wood waste is then cleaned and processed to remove any nails or contaminants before it’s turned into woodchips.
David said: “I’ve worked in agriculture for many years but always for other people. I wanted to do a job that would allow me to spend time on our farm and look after our sheep. Last year I was asked if I could help with removing some wooden pallets and that’s when I had the idea for Rhoin Wood Renewables. I was interested in the renewable energy aspect but also felt it was a good business idea as it would help companies cut costs and solve a waste problem.
“I’ve picked up some good work via word-of-mouth which has allowed me to stockpile bags of woodchips which is great. I’ve also began selling to local livery yards and farms as it is not only a cheaper alternative but is an easy to maintain, absorbent and all weather surface.”
David is hoping to establish himself as a well-known supplier of a good quality product with the capacity to modify in order to satisfy the needs of his customers. With aims to expand geographically, David is hoping to increase the selling part of his business by targeting building merchants and other organisations and businesses that would benefit from using his product.
He added: “I’m now set up with the equipment I need so this year I’ll be focusing on getting our name out there and building relationships with those sectors that would be best served by using our wood biomass fuel and woodchips.
“Business Gateway have been advising and supporting me throughout this journey and the help that I’ve had from my adviser Donald has been great. He has reassured me when I’ve needed it and gave me options for how to take Rhoin Wood Renewables forward. He’s also asked me the questions that I had to think about before I could create an effective business plan that would guide me as I developed the business.”
Donald Melville, Business Adviser, Business Gateway Argyll and Bute said: “We have supported David since he came to us with his idea and we will be advising and helping him as Rhoin Wood Renewables develops throughout the year. Our one-to-one advice can help any business get to grips with what is needed to set up and run a successful venture. David was just one of many who has benefitted from our services, learning essential skills that will help him go forward.”
Find out how Business Gateway Argyll and Bute can help your business by visiting their local page or calling 01546 808 363.
Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
Ready to give your business a DigitalBoost?
Enhance your digital skills with workshops, 1:1 advice, guides and more.
Sign up for Amplify
Don't miss an issue of Amplify, have it delivered straight to your inbox.
Contact your local office
If you need advice on any aspect of starting, running or developing your business, just contact your local Business Gateway office.
Download your business plan template
Get your business plan started with this template, which shows you what to include. Download yours here – it’s free.