A SPORTS turf contractor that has worked on fields of play ranging from Gleneagles to Hampden Park has move to employee ownership.

Greentech Sportsturf Ltd, which specialises in the design, construction and renovation of sports surfaces, has set up an employee ownership trust to hold 100 per cent of firm, which it said would make the people who work for the business direct beneficiaries of future results.

The firm was started in 1998 by Tom Brannan, who died in 2015, Kevin Brunton, Hugh Murray, and it has grown with significant work related to grounds such as Murrayfield stadium in the Scottish capital and golf courses across the country including in St Andrews.

The firm said Mr Murray is retired and the directors wanted to look at an ownership succession option which secured the long-term future of the business.

The directors opted against traditional trade sale or merger options, saying they were “aware of the risks these options can present to employees and the business as a whole”.

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Mr Brunton said the model would provide continued job security for its staff.

"It will also enable the employees to have collective control of their future, directly benefit from the ongoing success of the business and to continue to deliver market-leading projects in the design, construction, renovation and maintenance of sports surfaces," he said.

“Employee ownership means clients need not be concerned with Greentech Sportsturf being acquired and the potential associated disruption that can lead to. They can feel secure in the knowledge we will continue to deliver the highest quality sports surfaces projects with our talented team of people and the best technologies for the job in hand.”

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Mr Brunton also said: "It also gives the co-founders the opportunity to consider retirement and eventual exit from the business in a planned manner, mentoring the successor team whilst withdrawing slowly and ensuring continued growth and success. It really is a win-win all round."

Greentech Sportsturf is based at Throsk on the outskirts of Stirling and operates across the UK. The company says it has a diverse client base including Scotland’s national football and rugby stadiums and smaller and regional sports facilities.

HeraldScotland: The Greentech teamThe Greentech team

Eric Carroll, financial controller at Greentech Sportsturf, also hailed the move.

“I’m delighted that Kevin and Hugh have chosen this option for ownership of the business and I think this is great news for all the staff at Greentech Sportsturf,” he said.

“Everyone one of us now has a stake in the business and can share in the success and profits that are made going forward.”

Employee ownership is growing significantly in popularity, with many companies opting for the model. Studies have demonstrated that employee owned firms are “also more resilient and are proven to weather economic cycles better than most”.

Mr Brunton said the directors saw advantages in the move, adding: “The establishment of employee ownership through the employee ownership trust at Greentech Sportsturf will provide continued job security for all staff.”