Recycling firm pleads for help finding new base

Bucks Free Press: Recycling firm pleads for help finding new base Recycling firm pleads for help finding new base

A RECYCLING firm which saves wood from landfill is pleading for help to find a new home after it was told to leave its base by a council.

Chiltern Wood, a not-for-profit company which takes on out-of-work volunteers to convert unwanted wood into furniture, has been asked to leave its Lincoln Road unit by June 9 by Wycombe District Council.

Director Andy Hicks, 52, is pleading for help to find a new base so the firm can continue its important work for the benefit of the town.

He said: “I think the work we do is important on a number of levels. We can recycle up to 20 tonnes of wood a week, the majority of which would otherwise go into landfill which gives off Methane and CO2 emissions.

“The furniture we make lends itself well to the town of High Wycombe, which obviously has a rich history in the industry.

“But it’s not just that, we work with a lot of groups in the area to help people, who may have been injured or homeless, get back into work.

“We have 14 volunteers at the moment and three full-time staff who were volunteers. I think we would be a massive loss to the town.”

WDC said it had a mutual temporary agreement with Chiltern Wood for its let of the unit at the Cressex Business Park during the recession.

The unit was marketed during the project’s occupancy on the understanding the council required a market rent, WDC said.

WDC added The Audit Commission had made it clear councils should not fund organisations indirectly through subsidised rents but “charge market rent and use grants to financially support organisations” instead.

Mr Hicks said while he was disappointed to leave he said the council was “moving heaven and earth” to help Chiltern Wood find a new home.

He added: “We only make a small margin after paying our rent and expenses, which is then used to buy new machinery.

“We always pay our rent, that’s not the problem, it’s the high commercial rates around this area – they would cripple us in a year.”

If you are able to help Chiltern Wood find a new base upwards of 2,000 square feet, call Mr Hicks on 01494 258185.

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