Educational And Municipal Equipment Ltd, based in Oldham expanded their UK operations and secured part of their market share in Scotland by opening emeScotland in 1965.  This was the first Scottish Development Agency factory on the Sanquhar Industrial Estate and part of the regeneration of the area following the decline in coal mining. 

The company began by manufacturing plywood laminated products, predominantly chairs.

In 1969 emeScotland was purchased by the Howland Furniture Group who introduced more wood working machinery and increased the range of furniture manufactured to include table tops and storage furniture as well as adding polypropylene chairs.  This allowed EME to supply a complete range of quality educational furniture.

In the early 1970’s the factory was extended to include a metal fabrication shop for manufacture of table and chair frames as well as other component parts, giving the company more control over the production of the range.

1979 saw a Royal visit from the Prince of Wales. 


1979 Prince Charles visits EME

In 1985 EME purchased the Sanquhar site and building.  

Between 1994 and 1996 there was major investment in the company with the addition of a CNC machine, spray polish shop, dust extraction system and an extension to the building for material storage.

In the late 1990’s the company introduced the Elements office furniture range, including desks, storage and tables manufactured from steamed beech veneer.  An upholstery shop was also introduced allowing the complete manufacture of metal and wooden frame upholstered chairs on site.

In 2002 EME began supplying furniture to medical centres and in 2008 introduced anti-bacterial vinyl upholstery to the range to meet infection control requirement. In March 2009 EME was purchased by the Directors of British Thornton Direct Ltd and further investments have been made in equipment and product development. Investment in 2010 included an additional 12,000 sq ft of manufacturing with a larger CNC saw and edge banding capacity.

2013 saw further expansion with installation of a CNC controlled tube bending machine  crush bending machine to allow manufacture of crush bent frame tables. The storage furniture range was also updated and an addition of 20,000sq ft of warehousing space added.