Welsh eco-building firm becomes a worker co-op

Tŷ Pren received support in making the transition from co-op development agency Cwmpas

A roundwood timber framing company based in Lampeter has become worker owned, with support from the Social Business Wales programme.

Already operating as a community business since its establishment in 2013, Tŷ Pren, which means wooden house, is on a mission to make UK building more sustainable through roundwood timber building techniques. It works with local woodland owners to help them manage their land, and uses them to source timber for its houses. 

The move to an employee-owned structure, where all members of the team now run the business on an equal footing, will help to further Tŷ Pren’s mission. The business’s founder, Jamie Miller, said: “Our company ethos is more than just about construction, it’s about creating beautiful, much needed affordable, carbon-neutral homes, that help towards making an environmentally progressive culture – and so being a worker co-operative was key to that.”

Miller thanked Cwmpas, formerly known as the Welsh Co-operative Centre, for its help in guiding Tŷ Pren through the process of becoming worker owned, a structure which he says “truly reflects us through and through”.

Cwmpas CEO Derek Walker said: “Again, it is great to see another successful Welsh business look at the co-operative model as a way to reflect its values as a business.

“Tŷ Pren is a great example of how using a workers’ cooperative can help a business like Tŷ Pren further spread its message of sustainable, eco-friendly buildings, and make a difference to its team and its local community. I can’t wait to see it go from strength to strength under its new structure.”

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