Arran’s Auchrannie becomes Scotland’s first employee-owned resort

Luxury resort Auchrannie has announced it has completed its transition to become Scotland's latest employee-owned business
Luxury resort Auchrannie has announced it has completed its transition to become Scotland's latest employee-owned business
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A luxury island resort has become Scotland’s latest employee-owned business.

Auchrannie in Brodick on the Isle of Arran has announced that its 160 members of staff have become owners of the firm.

The award-winning resort comprises of two 4-star hotels, 30 5-star self-catering lodges, two leisure clubs, three restaurants, a spa and the Arran Adventure outdoor company.

An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of the employees. The deal was structured in order to make it affordable to the business without affecting its ability to reinvest for the future.

READ MORE: Travel: Auchrannie Resort, Arran

It marks the first time that a hotel or resort in Scotland has become employee-owned.

Co-founder and managing director, Linda Johnson, said: “We first started looking at employee ownership in 2015 and the first formal meetings were held in early 2016. Many exit options were considered over the years but none protected the ethos of the company, the existing team or the community use of Auchrannie’s facilities for future generations like employee ownership did.

“The team have been involved in the process from an early stage and were given the opportunity to input throughout.

“They have very much embraced the concept of employee ownership and are extremely excited about it. They are delighted that Auchrannie’s legacy will be protected and that they have the chance to play an active part in, and benefit from, Auchrannie’s future success. They also realise that what each of them does will affect the future success of the business and that this is directly linked to their own success, so they have already become more engaged in making the business better and understand the power and influence each and every one of them now has on their own future.

“There is no, ‘them and us’ now, we’re all in this together.”

READ MORE: Arran’s Auchrannie resort voted hotel of the year

Ms Johnston and the rest of the Auchrannie management team will remain in place and the day to day operation of the business will not change.

Auchrannie’s transition to employee ownership was supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), with the process managed by Co-ownership Solutions LLP and legal services by Burness Paull LLP.

Sarah Deas, director at Co-operative Development Scotland, said: “Being on an island, a change to the ownership of a resort like Auchrannie could seriously affect the economy of the whole island.

“The change to employee ownership means that the team at Auchrannie and the community of Arran can relax knowing that it will always remain an independent, locally run organisation with community values at heart.”