A Highland firm is believed to be the first independent motor vehicle repair centre in Scotland to transition to an employee ownership model.

Anderson Clark Motor Repairs joins the growing number of Scottish businesses that are moving to employee ownership.

Research from Co-operative Development Scotland shows that the number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland now sits at 286, which is a huge 47% increase since 2022.

Also, the results of the census show that the sector contributed turnover of £1.471 billion to the Scottish economy with over 7,500 employees.

READ MORE: Highland firm 'first of its kind' into employee ownership

The numbers are growing rapidly. Others to make the move include Scottish strategic communications agency Aspect. Last month Andrew McCallum, founder and chief executive of the Aberdeen-based Aspect, declared the move ‚Äúcreates a platform for the future‚ÄĚ of the firm he established five years ago.

Aspect has expanded steadily since its first employee was recruited in 2019, with growth accelerating during the pandemic. It now turns over £3.1 million.

READ MORE: Scottish communications firm joins employee-ownership revolution

The company announced yesterday that 100% of its shares have been acquired by a new employee ownership trust (EOT), on behalf of its 22 employees.

Earlier this year E&O Laboratories, with 70 employees and turning over ¬£5.5 million moved into an EOT when founder Virginia Lucey said it would ‚Äúenhance the business¬†longevity, secure jobs for the future, and ensure our culture remains progressive, fair and non-corporate‚ÄĚ.

READ MORE: Glasgow firm of Charles Rennie Mackintosh now staff-owned

Keppie, the historic Glasgow architecture firm, where Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a partner when he designed the Glasgow School of Art, also made the move earlier this year.

The Inverness-based business is currently owned by the Graham and Sheila Clark’s family who will remain involved as part of the transition to employee ownership.

The new leadership team will comprise an experienced team with Neil Johnstone, managing director designate, Katie Fraser, company secretary, and Alan Reid, workshop manager, all having been with Anderson Clark for many years.

Graham Clark, managing director, who formed the company in 1996 with his late business partner David Anderson, said: “People have always been at the heart of what we do, we have fabulous staff and great customers.

“This felt as a natural progression giving the team control of their destiny and the company will remain in the hands of people who made it what it is today.

‚ÄúCustomers value our services, the personal aspect of how we conduct business and the familiar trusted staff who deal with their motoring needs.‚ÄĚ