A Scottish independent motor vehicle repair company has changed hands in an employee buyout.

Anderson Clark Motor Repairs said it is charting a new future after being sold to an Employee Ownership Trust formed by its 14 staff.

The company has been in business for over 28 years and said it is recognised as one of the top repair centres in the UK after winning numerous independent repair centre awards and having Investor in People Gold Standard Recognition, with a turnover of £2 million.

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.

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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.

“Customers value our services, the personal aspect of how we conduct business and the familiar trusted staff who deal with their motoring needs.”

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Alan Reid, Anderson Clark director, said: “Forming an EOT is the perfect solution for us. It allows us to continue to serve our customers, many of whom have used Anderson Clark Motor Repairs for over 20 years, while retaining the same talented members of staff, some of whom have been part of our team for just as many years.

“We hope to continue the success story of Anderson Clark, maintaining the high levels of customer service our customers have come to expect.

“We would like to thank Graham for this opportunity and wish Graham and Sheila all the best in retirement.”

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Anderson Clark was advised by Ralph Leishman of 4 Consulting, Douglas Roberts and Nimarta Cheema of TLT and Jonathan Innes of Innes and Partners.

Mr Leishman said “It was good to see the enthusiastic reaction of the staff to employee ownership, which offers job security and will enable them to continue to provide a quality service to customers.”

Mr Roberts, partner at TLT, said: “We really enjoyed working with Graham and his team as they explored employee ownership then implemented it. The values that have made Anderson Clark such a successful and well-known business will be preserved by this exciting next step in the company’s history.”

Jonathan Innes, Managing Director at Innes & Partners Ltd, said that “it has been a real privilege to support Graham and the team at Anderson Clark Motor Repairs Ltd through this process”, adding: “Anderson Clark is an incredibly successful garage in the Highlands which has won many awards for its customer service.

“We are delighted that as a result of this transfer of the business to employee ownership  that the history and heritage of the business will be preserved.  This of course will allow the customers of Anderson Clark to continue to receive the best possible service at all times and for its employees to benefit to from that success.”

Anderson Clark Motor Repairs is believed to be the first independent motor vehicle repair centre in Scotland to transition to an employee ownership model.

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