AN Edinburgh-based company has become Scotland’s first employee-owned surveying consultancy.

A majority shareholding in the multi-disciplinary Dot Surveying, which specialises in the telecoms sector, has been sold by founder Tom Gallivan to an employee ownership trust.

Mr Gallivan, who established the firm in 2020 and had been its sole shareholder before transferring his stake to the EOT, has retained a minority shareholding, underlining his continuing commitment to the business.

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Dot Surveying employees 21 members of staff including chartered surveyors, property managers, town and country planners, and support staff.  It also utilises a number of freelance consultants to support its operations.

Mr Gallivan said: “The business has performed so extremely well over the years, surpassing my expectations on what could be achieved in a relatively short time.  This success can be attributed to the fantastic employees we have in place, and it felt right that they should own the future of the company. 

“I also have to thank our loyal clients who have supported us over the years. I believe that employee ownership will reinforce our partnership approach to doing business and allow us to continue to provide the expert service our customers are used to.”

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Catherine McKerrigan, the surveying firm’s commercial director, said: “This is a generous and visionary gesture by Tom. He’s showing tremendous confidence in us, that the company will be safe in our hands.”

Carole Leslie of employee ownership specialist Ownership Associates, which supported stakeholder communications for the transaction and has been appointed as independent trustee, said: “Working with Tom and the leadership team has been a privilege.

"It’s such a joy to work with business owners who recognise that success is most often a team effort, and have the courage of their convictions and hand over the reins to the employees.”

It is believed there are now around 170 employee-owned firms in Scotland, and in the region of 1,000 across the UK.

Christopher Searle, operations director of Dot Surveying, added: "It's up to us to take Dot Surveying to a new level. It's an exciting prospect and with the fantastic team we have at Dot Surveying I'm convinced we'll continue to grow and flourish."