Fife ventilation firm enjoying Covid boost switches to employee ownership

A Fife ventilation company has joined the growing band of employee-owned businesses in Scotland with 12 staff given a stake in the firm.

Paul Heat Recovery new employee trustees Craig Hutcheson (left) and Garrie Glasgow (right) with director Stefan Huber (centre). Picture: Scottish Enterprise/Colin Hattersley
Paul Heat Recovery new employee trustees Craig Hutcheson (left) and Garrie Glasgow (right) with director Stefan Huber (centre). Picture: Scottish Enterprise/Colin Hattersley

Established in 2007, Dunfermline-based Sustainable Homes Scotland, trading as Paul Heat Recovery Scotland, provides energy efficient ventilation systems for sustainable homes.

Director Stefan Huber started the business together with a German master craftsman and saw the company grow organically in a challenging environment.

An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of the employees. The process was managed by Ownership Associates with legal services by Anderson Strathern and accountancy services by Donohue & Co.

As part of the new structure, two employees have been promoted to directors and two have been made employee trustees.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Huber said: “Over the years we’ve worked extremely hard to grow the business and to be at the forefront of domestic ventilation in Scotland, making our mark on the industry through best practice methods, materials, installation, service and training.

“Our non-compromise approach has taken us in a different direction than many of our competitors, but we have focused on building a highly skilled, dedicated team and providing the best service possible.

“I am proud of my team, their dedication, hard work and loyalty. I wanted to reward them whilst opening up a door for myself to concentrate more on charitable work in Perth, which I have been doing for the last few years in my leisure time.

“My team has basically been working as if it was their own business anyway, so it was only natural to take this course.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

He added: “Employee ownership is the ideal solution for us; it fits well with our ethos and allows me to pass ownership and responsibilities to my hard working team. We already have an open and inclusive culture, so employee ownership allows us to keep operating as normal and ensures the protection of the company we’ve worked hard to build together.”

The company’s main focus is on heat recovery ventilation, which provides fresh air inside homes and smaller commercial premises without re-circulation of air and without the heat losses that all other forms of ventilation carry with them.

Sufficient ventilation is now seen as one of the key drivers in order to combat Covid-19 transmission indoors. As a result, the business has seen demand soar.

Clare Alexander, head of Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “The number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland continues to grow and we’re delighted to be adding Paul Heat Recovery to the list. This is a great business and hugely successful in its field.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

“Stefan wanted a succession option which would enable him to gradually exit the business that he worked so hard to build, with the knowledge that the future is taken care of for such a loyal and long-serving team. It will help safeguard jobs and maintain existing customer relationships whilst creating new opportunities.”

Within Scotland, there are now thought to be about 120 employee-owned companies operating, with some 7,500 employee-owners generating a combined turnover of almost £1 billion.

Read More

Read More
Leith design company Shore makes switch to employee ownership

A message from the Editor:

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription: www.scotsman.com/subscriptions

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.