Employees at a Thurcroft firm can become owners of the company thanks to new scheme

Employees at a Thurcroft-based building manufacturing firm can become owners of the company they work for thanks to a new scheme.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 9:13 am

Build Lite UK, manufacturers of architectural mouldings and innovative building products, has joined the 250 plus UK companies that have transitioned to employee ownership through an Employee Ownership Trust.

The decision to transform the business was taken after the directors spent a considerable amount of time, evaluating how best to ensure their successful firm continues to thrive and expand, when the time comes for them to exit the Company.

The solution was to create an Employee Ownership Trust.

Rotherham based, Build Lite UK, manufacturers of architectural mouldings and innovative building products, has joined the 250+ UK companies that have transitioned to employee ownership through an Employee Ownership Trust.

This is where the directors sell a majority share of the business, in Build Lite’s case 100 per cent, at market value and employees take a controlling interest.

Employee ownership is a fundamental part of the UK government’s policy for economic growth and has been embraced by local companies such as Gripple and Swann Morton as well as major names like John Lewis, Richer Sounds and AArdman Animations.

Managing director, Paul Goodlad said: “Both myself and fellow directors, were keen to ensure that the business was in safe hands when, at some point, we hand over the reigns.

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“Our vision has always been to create a family atmosphere that attracts the best staff, loyal customers and dedicated suppliers.

"We have always admired the partnership concept of John Lewis and, therefore, looked at a way of creating a similar scheme here at Build Lite.

‘We were made aware of the different types of EOT schemes, some of which include a financial commitment from the staff. However, it was important, to us that our long standing employees would benefit from the scheme without incurring any financial burden.

“We were advised by Sheffield-based Mackenzie Spencer, who created a transaction process for the company, whereby the directors could sell 100 per cent of their shares at market value to an independent trust.

"This newly formed trustee company enables our staff to become, in effect, owners of the business without having to purchase any shares.”

Paul said it was a “win-win for everyone” as the trust, with its appointed board, employee representative and three independent trustees, now owns and manages the company while the current directors remain at the helm for up to the next two years to ensure a smooth handover.

The trust has also appointed a new managing director, who also becomes a trust board member.

Tim Turner has joined from Derbyshire-based John Smedley, world renowned manufacturers of high quality British knitwear.

Tyler Warburton, who has worked at Build Lite for the past 15 years, said: “Being able to be involved and have a real impact on the business feels really good and it’s something I’m excited about.

"I really feel that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”