Our Story

Having been around for over 160 years, Donaldson Group has seen two world wars, several recessions and many changes to the construction industry. However through dedication and determination, the Group has continued to grow and prosper. Find out more about the fascinating history of the Donaldson Group below.


The company starts life as a timber merchant in Tayport and is run by James Donaldson along with his two sons, James and George


The company acquire a second timber yard based in Leven and the growth of the company begins.


Following the war, the company achieve record sales and profits, and George Donaldson converted the partnership into a limited liability company and so James Donaldson & Sons Ltd was born.


During World War II imports were kept to a minimum. The Timber Control was established immediately and the Ministry of Supply became the sole supplier of timber – stocks were sold at fixed maximum prices and consumer sales were made by permit only. This had a big impact on the business.


Donaldson’s acquire Elm Park, an eleven acre site in Leven, which provided additional space for stacking timber.


James Donaldson & Sons become the first Scottish timber company to buy a fork lift truck, used to handle timber at the Elm Park site. The business saw an immediate and striking improvement in productivity.


Neil Donaldson

5th Generation Neil Donaldson joins the family business and following growth and success, turnover exceeds 3 million.


A local builder approaches the company asking Donaldson’s to make him a few trusses for the houses he was building. Just one year later 1300 roof trusses were being sold each month and the roof truss manufacturing plant was firmly established.


Donaldson Timber Engineering Ltd (DTE) is formally formed and Muiredge Factory in Buckhaven is acquired.


Donaldson Timber Engineering expand into England and acquire their first site in Cramlington.


James Donaldson Timber (Ltd.) Logo

James Donaldson Timber (JDT) Ltd is formed.


George Donaldson is awarded a CBE for Service to the Timber Trade.


Michael Donaldson

6th Generation Michael Donaldson joins the family business. At the same time MGM Timber (Scotland) Ltd becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Group, with 10 branches and annual sales of 11 million.


The Donaldson Leadership Academy is established in partnership with Columba 1400 on the Isle of Skye, with the aim of taking young people from disadvantaged backgrounds from the local Fife area, and helping them to release their potential as leaders and contributors within their own communities.


Silktrim packaging

JDT acquires its first English base by acquiring Alfred Hulme in Chorley, Lancashire, bringing greater geographic opportunities and a skilled workforce in the manufacture of Silktrim MDF Mouldings.


Andrew Donaldson

The Donaldson Group celebrates its 150th Anniversary. In the same year Andrew Donaldson follows in his brothers footsteps and joins the family business.


Scott Cairns

Scott Cairns is appointed as Group Managing Director, the first non-family member to do so in the firms history. In the same year, group turnover exceeds £100 million for the first time.


James Donaldson Insulation joins JDS, to expand the group’s product offering of insulation and membrane products.


A James Donaldson Group Employee in a warehouse

MGM opens its 13th site with the acquisition of Robert Reid and firmly establishes itself as the largest Independent Timber Merchant in Scotland.


Nu-Style Products logo

The group acquire Aberdeen based business Nu-Style Products Ltd and expand the specialities to include laminate and metal roofing fabrication.


Donaldson Group Timeline Tree in 2017

The group establish our values tree to ensure all businesses in the group are brought together by a shared ethos and dedication to people and customers.


Donaldson Group Press Release regarding the acquiring of smith and frater

In February 2020, the group acquired Smith and Frater Ltd and Rowan Manufacturing Ltd, adding to its diverse portfolio of companies.


Andrew Donaldson, Michael Donaldson and Neil Donaldson sitting together

In April 2020, Scott Cairns stepped down as Group MD and Andrew Donaldson took over as CEO of the Group. Michael Donaldson took on the role of Executive Chairman, following the retirement of his father, Neil Donaldson in July 2020.


A photo of a Kitchen's International kitchen with white marble surface and black cabinets

Donaldson Group acquire kitchens international Ltd, Scotland’s leading independent kitchen retailer, to complement the current portfolio allowing the Group to offer a full suite of interior options for both trade and retail customers


A modern looking bar with warm led lighting reflected in the stone countertop installed by Stonecare

Donaldson Group acquire Stonecare (UK) ltd one of Scotland’s leading independent suppliers of solid worktops to the UK kitchen industry, further expanding our interiors portfolio and offering in the market


A timber frame being lifted by a crane to be placed as part of a housing development

The Group extends the family and its offering further, welcoming the UK’s leading timber frame manufacturer, SMTS, into the Donaldson Group Family, as Donaldson Timber Systems, allowing the Group to offer a stronger timber package for residential and commercial applications to all their current and future customers.


Donaldson Group Logo

James Donaldson & Sons rebrands as Donaldson Group.