EAST Kilbride-based engineering consultancy Grossart Associates has moved into employee ownership.

The 15 employees in the firm have acquired the business from Bill Grossart and John MacDonald for an undisclosed sum.

Mr Grossart said the vendors believed employee ownership would be a catalyst for enhancing the consultancy and taking it on to bigger and better things.

“As equal partners and beneficiaries of the business’s success, each member of the team has a chance to shape its future and a vested interest in ensuring it capitalises on every opportunity to achieve excellence,” said Mr Grossart, who founded the business in 1985.

Mr Grossart and Mr MacDonald stared investigating the employee ownership model when planning for their eventual retirements. They were concerned the sale of the business to a trade player could potentially cause disruption to the business and would not guarantee that it remained firmly rooted in Scotland.

Barclays bank provided financing to help an employee ownership trust acquire Grossart.

Co-Operative Development Scotland provided guidance on the process. The organisation reckons there are around 110 employee-owned companies operating in Scotland, with approximately 7,500 employee-owners. The firms concerned have total turnover of around £1 billion.

The Auchrannie resort and spa on the Isle of Arran made the transition into employee ownership in January last year, when a deal was struck by the Johnston family to transfer shares to its 160 staff. The 186 employees of the Aspire social care business acquired the firm from sector veteran Peter Millar earlier this summer.