Campaign encourages Welsh businesses to consider employee ownership

'Employee ownership helps keep jobs and wealth in the community for the long term, and creates higher levels of staff wellbeing and productivity'

Wales Co-operative Centre has launched a campaign to highlight employee ownership as a succession option.

The Think Employee Ownership campaign, launched on Employee Ownership Day (28 June), is backed by two Welsh businesses that have converted to employee ownership over the past 12 months – animated film studio Aardman Productions and Caernarfon-based TV production company, Cwmni Da.

Co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton of Aardman

Aardman’s co-founder David Sproxton, said: “I wholeheartedly encourage Welsh businesses to see employee ownership as a real succession solution.

Related: Aardman, the home of Wallace and Gromit, transfers control to workers

“Employee-owned companies have been shown to be more successful than other more conventionally structured companies, so we felt this was the right way to ensure the future success of the studio, and to future-proof the creativity of the company and its team for decades to come, and for team members to share in the benefits they create.”

Research by the Employee Ownership Association revealed that productivity in employee owned companies has increased by 7.3% per year, compared with the UK economy as a whole, which is flat.

Dylan Huws, managing director of Cwmni Da, said: “Creating an employee-owned company feels like it is a perfect fit because I believe passionately that the staff are a key part of the business.”

Glenn Bowen, director of enterprise at Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “Employee ownership is a concept which is gaining momentum across the UK, the benefit for Wales being that employee ownership is a succession option which helps keep jobs and wealth in the community for the long term, and creates higher levels of staff wellbeing and productivity.

“We run the Social Business Wales project, which is behind the Think Employee Ownership campaign, and we would encourage anyone who thinks this approach might be for them, to get in touch.”

Related: Welsh TV company Cwmni Da becomes employee owned

He added: “With high-profile businesses like Aardman and Cwmni Da speaking out about the benefits of employee ownership, we hope more Welsh businesses will think about it as a realistic alternative to conventional exit plans. Free support is available from Social Business Wales to help companies consider the different legal structures, but the Think Employee Ownership Campaign is also targeting solicitors and accountants, to help educate them as to the benefits of EO.”

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