Award winning Scottish media company becomes employee owned

‘It’s great to see that a business with such a distinct and important offering is handing over the reins to its staff’

Eighteen staff at Stornoway-based production company MacTV have been given a stake in the organisation after it became Scotland’s newest employee-owned business.

Established in 2001, award-winning MacTV is the largest independent TV company in the Highlands and Islands. Specialising in factual documentary, arts and music programmes, it is one of the largest producers of programming for BBC ALBA – the Scottish Gaelic-language free-to-air television channel jointly owned by the BBC and MG ALBA

In recent years, the company has also been involved in a variety of international co-productions, working with companies in Canada, Ireland, Iceland and Wales.

MacTV has moved to employee ownership to ensure succession of the business after the retirement of managing director Bill Morrison, who wants it to remain in Stornoway and to retain the company’s positive community ethos and culture. 

With the support of Co-operative Development Scotland – the arm of Scotland’s Enterprise Agencies that promotes employee ownership business models – an employee ownership trust has been formed which will hold 90% of the shares on behalf of the employees. 

Mr Morrison said: “In the 18 years since it was established, the hugely talented and hardworking team here at MacTV have helped build a highly regarded production company. With a workforce truly rooted in the community, the passion, skills and local knowledge of our staff is vital to the quality of our output.

“A traditional trade sale may have seen us bought by a competitor, potentially risking job security and compromising our offering. Employee ownership ensures that the company is owned by and run for the benefit of those closest to it, while providing ongoing economic benefit to the area by anchoring the work and jobs in the local community.”

Head of Co-operative Development Scotland, Clare Alexander, said: “It’s great to see that a business with such a distinct and important offering is handing over the reins to its staff. We wish MacTV every success and look forward to seeing how the workforce shapes its future.”

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