New national body announced at First Minister’s Auchrannie visit

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The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the formation of a new national body to promote employee ownership when visiting the Auchrannie resort earlier this week.

Meeting with Auchrannie director Linda Johnston and her management team – who completed the move to becoming an employee-owned business earlier this year – Ms Sturgeon confirmed the establishment of Scotland for Employee Ownership (EO) with the strapline of Employees CAN DO Ownership.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘ All the evidence tells us that employee ownership delivers benefits to business performance, the people who work in them and the places in which they are located. This has certainly been the experience of the Auchrannie team in Arran.

‘The health of the Scottish economy depends on having a diverse range of business-types and employee ownership clearly has an important role to play in that.

‘We want to make it easier for companies and workers to find out more about this model and to move towards it if it’s right for them. Scotland for EO will help to make this into a real option for businesses across Scotland.’

Scotland for EO aims to increase the number of employee owned businesses from around 100 to 500 by 2030. It will receive Scottish Government funding of £75,000 and will be co-chaired by Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.

Speaking at the meeting, Auchrannie managing director Linda Johnston said: ‘ We first started looking at employee ownership as a means of protecting the ethos of the company. The team have been involved in the process from an early stage and were given the opportunity to input throughout.

‘They are delighted that Auchrannie’s legacy will be protected and that they will have the chance to play an active part in, and benefit from, Auchrannie’s future success. They also realise that what each one of them does will affect the future success of the business and that this is directly linked to their own success. There is no, ‘them and us’ now, we’re all in this together.’

Led by leaders of Scotland’s EO businesses, as well as Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the national body, Scotland for EO, will create an industry strategy that supports self-sustaining employee-owned businesses for the benefit of employees, business and the economy.