In 1982, GFP began development of an OSB mill in Scotland, primarily to serve the UK market and secondarily to export to Continental users. In 1983, Godfrey formed an affiliate UK company, Highland Forest Products PLC. Through a private share offering, debt and support both from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, HFP constructed the first OSB mill in Europe, with production starting in May, 1985. At HFP, GFP’s development required branding of OSB, introduction into the British building materials market and gaining official certification from British authorities for use in housing and other applications. GFP branded the product “Sterling Board” in 1985. HFP first received certification from the British Board of Agreement, and later was instrumental in the establishment of British Standard 5669 which, along with a subsequently-developed European Standard based on BS5669, governs OSB in Europe today.
HFP, with Mr. Godfrey as CEO, operated successfully as an independent entity for 4+ years at which time it was acquired by Norbord, a large North American OSB producer and (at the time) largest agent for importing softwood plywood into the UK. As a testament to the validity of GFP’s site selection and business plan, Norbord subsequently doubled the capacity of the Inverness plant and today is preparing to install a large continuous OSB press to increase production further and to add a wider selection of products.
Not only is the plant continuing to operate successfully after 30 years, but each sheet recalls GFP’s creation of the first British OSB: "Sterling OSB™, the original and the best"