Black Isle environmental consultancy switches to employee ownership

An environmental consultancy based on the Black Isle has made the shift to employee ownership.

HED said it was joining the trend in supporting and retaining local jobs in the Highlands. The transfer of all shares into an employee ownership trust (EOT) would safeguard job security, it added.

The consultancy has been at the forefront of the renewables, ecology and environmental management sectors providing support for businesses in the north of Scotland over the last 20 years. It has focused its expertise in the development of wind, hydro and solar power projects as well as housing, road, rail and major utility developments.

An EOT has been formed and holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of the employees. Once the company had decided to proceed, its transition was project-managed by Ralph Leishman with legal services from Blackadders. The EOT provides the employees with opportunities to have annual tax-free bonuses and shares.

Top Row: Vicki Rennie (Office administrator), Imogen Young (Senior Ecologist and Director), Paul Young (Principal Ecologist, Director and Trustee) and Diana Gilbert (Trustee). Bottom Row: Michael Pedder (Senior Ecologist) , Gem - dog and Isla Macleod (Senior Ecologist)

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Imogen Young, one of the current directors, said: “The employee ownership model is the perfect solution for us as a small company allowing us to pass ownership and responsibilities to our hard-working team. This will be phased over a number of years allowing successional planning and eventually retirement in our later years.”

Michael Pedder, senior ecologist with HED, added: “This is an exciting opportunity as an employee to reap the long-term benefits of a well-established company which has a fantastic reputation in supporting projects across the Highlands. HED’s senior management team will remain involved with the business for the foreseeable future providing on site advice and mentoring support.”

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