A history of innovation and growth

Company History

A History of Innovation and Growth

James Walker (Leith) Ltd was founded in Inverness in 1863. The transformation of the original family-owned timber business from one small sawmill in Inverness to what is now a national multi-faceted organisation is an impressive story of initiative and expansion.
Since its inception the Group has been at the forefront of developments in the construction and healthcare industries. It has been one of the pioneers of the timber frame construction revolution and won the tender for the first healthcare facility to be built in partnership with the NHS.

Key milestones in the Group’s development include:
1863             Walker family starts up as timber traders in Inverness
1914             Leith sawmill in Edinburgh commences trading.
1963             Start of manufacturing in Bo'ness, West Lothian.
1976             Woodbridge Timber formed - the UK's first timber logistics operation.
1982             Dundas Estates & Development Company set up.
1985             Acquisition of importers, Pattrick & Thompsons, in King's Lynn, Norfolk.
1995             Walker Partnerships secures its first NHS PFI contract in Edinburgh.
1997             Walker Partnerships secured its second PFI contract with NHS Glasgow.
1998             Acquisition of Guildway, a timber engineering company in Boston, Lincs.
1999             Walker Partnerships secured its third PFI contract in Edinburgh.
1999             Walker Partnerships secured its fourth PFI contract win Stockport.
2000             Undertook the first PPP with a local authority in Scotland - the PVCu division of the Direct Works
                      Organisation of North Lanarkshire Council.
2001             Acquisition of Cox Long, a timber engineering company in Staffordshire.
2004             Fifth PFI contract, for the re-development of Highbury Hospital, Notts.
2004             Established Walker Facilities Management Ltd.
2005             Designed, built and financed Gracemount Primary Care Centre for NHS Lothian.
2011             New Group corporate Head Office completed as part of the construction of
                      a new business park in in Livingston.
2012             New venture into Val-U-Therm, a high-performance, sustainable building technology.

Looking to the future

Thanks to its excellent acquisition and business integration skills, and its strong financial position, the Group is always mindful of new opportunities that might present a good strategic fit to its activities. The Group therefore expects future growth to come via this route as well as through its planned strategy of organic development.


Copyright James Walker (Leith) 2018