East Kilbride engineering consultancy signs up to employee ownership

A civil and structural engineering consultancy based in East Kilbride is the latest Scottish firm to move to an employee ownership (EO) model.

Grossart Associates' 15 staff now share a stake in the business. Picture: Scottish Enterprise.
Grossart Associates' 15 staff now share a stake in the business. Picture: Scottish Enterprise.

Grossart Associates said that following the transfer of 100 per cent of its shareholding to an employee ownership trust, its 15 staff now share a stake in the business and “can enjoy the reassurance that its future has been secured for them”.

The firm provides a design and project management function on public and private sector projects across several industries.

It has more than 300 active clients, with 90 per cent of these providing regular repeat business, and including private developers, local authorities, housing associations, insurance companies and retail, commercial and industrial organisations.

The consultancy was set up in 1985 on a sole trader basis by construction veteran Bill Grossart. In 1993 he formed a partnership with John MacDonald, who had held senior positions at various private consultancies, and the firm became a limited company in 2002 with Grossart and MacDonald as equal shareholders and directors.

Grossart said yesterday that the team was welcoming of EO from the get-go. “We all believe employee ownership will be a catalyst for enhancing the consultancy and taking it on to bigger and better things.”

MacDonald said: “We’re all really excited by what lies ahead for Grossart Associates, and Bill and I are very pleased that our involvement will continue so we can support the team by offering them advice and the benefit of our experience until it’s time for us to retire and take our leave.“

Clare Alexander, head of Scottish Enterprise division Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), said there are still very few examples of employee-owned engineering consultancies. Grossart Associates’ new status will set it apart in the market “and give it a competitive edge”, she added.

CDS said there are now around 110 employee-owned companies operating in Scotland, with roughly 7,500 employee-owners generating a combined turnover of about £950 million.

Other firms north of the Border to have transferred this year to such a model include social care support services provider Aspire Housing and Personal Development Services, architecture practice Anderson Bell + Christie, and ESPL Regulatory Consulting, which provides specialist services to the life sciences, pharma and medical device industries.

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