IT has been a family business for more than 70 years.

But now Hampshire sawmill RF Giddings & Co has been bought out in a move that will create ten new jobs.

BSW Timber will take over the mill, based in Bartley, New Forest, from August 1, and will also double production over the next 12 months by introducing additional shifts.

The fourth generation family business has been in Bartley since 1942, and employs 30 people, specialising in producing high quality material for fencing, pallets and the construction market.

BSW chief executive Tony Hackney said: “We have been working closely with RF Giddings for some time now and have been very impressed with both the set-up on site and the company’s supply network across the south of England.

"We now want to formalise the acquisition of the business which will provide the BSW Group with significant reach across the whole of the UK.

“The forests of southern England are at the heart of an untapped resource identified by the Independent Panel on Forestry and supported by the Grown in Britain campaign. As we grow the capacity on site we look forward to building relationships with woodland owners and agents.”

Lynda Glover, managing director at RF Giddings, added: “Since it was established in 1890s, the business has enjoyed huge success across four generations of the Giddings family.

“This is the right time to hand over the reins to BSW Timber. The company is one of the most successful and respected businesses in the UK, and has a strong track record of committed investment across all its UK sites, continually improving the quality of both its service and products.

“We are looking forward to seeing the sawmill thrive.”