SUSTAINABLE Wood Solutions is celebrating a £20,000 injection of funds that will help it increase the production of sustainable timber for the Scottish market.

The Glasgow firm is the brainchild of ex-restaurateur Bruce MacLeod, who retrained as a cabinet-maker after the birth of his first child called for less demanding working hours.

He hit on the idea of saving timber from Glasgow's 1400 hectares of aged woodland from landfill by providing it as raw material for students at the Metropolitan College.

With partner Paul Cookson, he has gone on to supply wooden flooring throughout Stirling Castle and is now developing a network of customers for the sale of timber as biomass. This will save a potential 10,000 tonnes of timber from going to landfill while creating renewable energy.

The company has built up a range of suppliers and end users - even helping to recycle some of the 2000 whisky barrels thrown away every year.

Bruce describes the £20,000 award as a lifeline. He said progressing the business to the next step would make a significant contribution to its goal of reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

The money - part of the £1 million Social Entrepreneurs Fund put forward by the Scottish Government and distributed by social entrepreneur advice organisation Firstport - is one strand of a strategy to encourage social entrepreneurs, support organisations working with the most vulnerable in society and keep the economy moving.

Naomi Johnson, Executive Director of Firstport, said: "Energy and recycling are key issues, both for economic and environmental reasons, and areas that are only going to grow in the future, so we were confident that the award was going to a worthy winner. Many new social entrepreneurs start their business alongside paid employment and find it hard to dedicate as much time as a new venture needs to really push ahead. A Level Two Award can give people the chance to give up the day job and really make it work."

Firstport also offers advice to entrepreneurs. Bruce said that although he and his partner were already experienced in running a business, they still found it beneficial to know that someone else had faith in what they were doing.

He said: "It was useful to sit down with someone who is looking at your best interests and asking how we can develop this to make a much more viable business."