Aberdeenshire headquartered housebuilder Kirkwood Homes is to invest £2million in creating a new timber frame business.
The company said Kirkwood Timber Frame is being launched to reflect strong industry growth and to target the upsurge in demand from homeowners for self-build and home improvement developments post-Covid.
Work will begin shortly on the expansion of Kirkwood’s Sauchen timber manufacturing base to allow for a five-fold increase in capacity, with the firm also investing in the latest digital machinery.
The newly expanded manufacturing base is expected to be complete by early next year.
Luxury developments in high demand
Colin Crombie, Kirkwood Homes managing director, said: “This is a year of significant expansion and investment for our business.
“The construction industry has played a vital role in driving economic recovery from the Covid pandemic and we are continuing to see strong demand as homeowners and developers increasingly recognise the benefits of using timber as a versatile, energy-efficient, and more durable, sustainable method of constructing their homes.
This is absolutely the right time to target investment for future growth by supplying a wider market.”
Colin Crombie, Kirkwood Homes managing director
“Activity across our luxury homes developments in Aberdeenshire and Tayside remains buoyant and we are delighted to have in the pipeline a range of exciting new home developments in desirable locations across Scotland.
“This is absolutely the right time to target investment for future growth by supplying a wider market.
“We have an ambitious growth strategy, and the establishment of Kirkwood Timber Frame will accelerate this as we develop new relationships with builders and contractors and further expand our presence in the self-build market.”
Two new senior appointments have been made to support the expansion plans with Malcolm Thomson joining as business development director of Kirkwood Timber Frame and Debbi Keatings appointed business development manager.
More recruitment for the timber business is expected throughout the year.
Inverness-born Mr Thomson, 51, whose career in the UK timber industry spans 30 years, admitted that the sector faced “challenging times” due to costs rises and shortages.
He said: “At Kirkwood, we have a long-established supply chain that we have continued to support over these challenging times.
“That loyalty means we can work through the supply and cost challenges together with our suppliers and be better prepared to cope with the growing demand and provide the best deal to our clients, while pushing to bring down lead times.
“We are seeing high demand for our new homes across our developments and believe it’s being driven by a range of factors.
“People are increasingly recognising the benefits of buying new. The past year has made us all appreciate our environment more and, for many people, it’s about having additional space, finding the ideal space in which to live and work, and being given flexibility to create a custom-built home in a desirable community.”
Kirkwood Homes, with a current workforce of 109, has more than 30 years’ experience in designing, manufacturing, delivering, and installing timber frame kits for developments across Scotland.