Popular Perthshire off-road driving and training centre switches to employee-ownership

A Perthshire off-road driving and training centre with 28 workers has become Scotland’s latest employee-owned business.

Land Rover Experience Scotland, which was established in 1996, has given staff an 83 per cent share in the company through the establishment of an employee ownership trust (EOT). Based at Butterstone Loch and with a specialist off-road driving centre in Dunkeld, the firm offers a range of driving experiences, corporate days and training courses.

The company decided to transition to employee ownership after working with Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), part of Scottish Enterprise, which offers advice and support to businesses considering their succession options via a 100 per cent funded ownership succession review and employee ownership feasibility study.

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Director Will Cox said: “We were conscious some of our shareholders were due to retire, so began looking at options to sell the business commercially as well as internally. Through Scottish Enterprise we learned about employee ownership and, following discussion with our employees, decided to sell 83 per cent of the business to the team, with one remaining director retaining the other 17 per cent. Employee ownership ended up being a great fit for us, as we really wanted to ensure the business stayed in the local area and retained its existing management team. We believe it will ultimately make the team stronger and even more invested in ensuring the company’s continuing success while maintaining the excellent level of customer service we’ve always provided.”

Clare Alexander, head of CDS, said: “It’s easy to see why employee ownership would appeal to a business like Land Rover Experience Scotland, with its dedicated team of experts and firm roots in the local area, because there are so many advantages. Not only does it give employees a meaningful stake in their organisation together with a genuine say in how it’s run, but employee-owned businesses are also proven to be more resilient during times of economic crisis, more profitable, more productive and have greater staff engagement. These are all key measures of business success and longevity.”

The company’s transition was project-managed by 4-Consulting with legal services from Blackadders and financial input from Milne Craig.

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