A TIMBER manufacturer in Aberdeenshire has more than doubled staff numbers and won £12 million of orders in its first year of business.

Kirkwood Timber Frame, based in Sauchen, Inverurie, specialises in designing and delivering timber frame house kits to builders, developers, self-builders and architects and was launched in August 2021 by its sister company, housebuilder Kirkwood Homes, also based in Sauchen.

Since then, staff numbers have grown from 14 to 35 and the company has delivered 270 timber frame kits across Scotland. This has led to the creation of new, energy-efficient homes, built with sustainably-sourced timber and “helping reduce waste and carbon emissions,” Kirkwood Timber Frame said.

Projects have included social and private housing developments, one-off self-build homes and commercial projects.

Kirkwood Timber Frame was launched to meet growing demand for timber kits in Aberdeenshire.

An initial £2m investment from Kirkwood Homes allowed the business to double the size of its manufacturing facility to more than 52,000 square feet.

Malcolm Thomson, business development director at Kirkwood Timber Frame, said the investment had “transformed” the process of manufacturing timber frame kits.

It shortens lead times between order and delivery and increases the volume of projects the company can support across the North-east and Scotland, Mr Thomson added.

He said the new business Kirkwood Timber Frame had secured was “incredible” and emphasised the demand for high quality timber frame products.

The company’s workforce includes factory operatives, estimators, technical managers, designers and business development executives.

Timber frame wall panels, staircases, doorsets and cassette floors – pre-built floor panels – are among the elements made at the factory.

Kirkwood Timber Frame says timber increasingly appeals to homebuilders because it’s renewable and sustainable.

According to a recent report from MTW Research, a building and construction research specialist, the UK’s timber frame housebuilding market is expected to grow by £70m this year, with further growth of £150m forecast by 2026.

MTW says Scotland builds more timber frame homes than any other part of the UK, and that the positive environmental credentials of timber homes – including energy-efficiency, faster build times, and reduced on-site costs, waste and labour – are key drivers for growth.