An architectural practice from Glasgow has become employee-owned, in an effort to strengthen and expand the business.
Page\Park Architects is now owned by its 40 employees, a move that founders David Page and Brian Park hope will help to expand the business even more, particularly across the UK and Europe. The firm has worked on iconic projects such as Lighthouse, Scottish National Portrait gallery; and Rosslyn Chapel and Collegelands in Glasgow. Its turnover has increased by 30% over the past two years.
The transition to employee ownership began five years ago and throughout the process the organisation received support and guidance from Co-operative Development Scotland.
Head of architecture David Page said the firm had always been a very collaborative organisation and employee ownership was a “logical extension” of their business model. “Over the last year we have transformed from a traditional architectural partnership into a 40-strong employee-owned company,” he said. “The journey, which began five years ago, has been an exciting one and we are looking forward to delivering more exceptional work for our clients in years to come.
“Now, when you speak to anyone in Page\Park, you are speaking to someone with a share in the future of the practice, a belief in its values and a commitment to them: a shared optimism. We are following in the footsteps of the likes of Arup and John Lewis, who have quietly trail-blazed employee ownership over many years.”
Sarah Deas, chief executive of CDS, said: “Page\Park’s ethos has always been very collaborative. It has been a pleasure to help them embed that spirit of co-operation in their ownership structure and help root this exciting business firmly in Scotland.”
Throughout the transition process Page\Park also worked with Shirlaws, who advised them on building an effective business model, and with Bexendale, who helped them design the new trust ownership model, the governance systems and further develop their employee engagement practices.
Employee-owned businesses in Scotland have enjoyed a considerable success in recent years, with the number doubling since 2009. They employ over 8,000 people and account for a combined annual turnover of nearly £1bn.