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Two more architecture practices become employee-owned

Lovelock Mitchell group shot May 2019
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Two firms in the North West are the latest to switch to a staff ownership business set-up

Manchester’s Triangle Architects and Chester practice Lovelock Mitchell Architects announced they have established employee ownership trusts.

The business model has become increasing popular for architectural practices in recent years. About a fifth of AJ100 firms, the UK firms employing the most architects, are now employee-owned, with Haworth TompkinsPurcell and Assael among the most recent to make the switch.

Triangle announced it was now wholly owned by staff and had set up a new board of directors consisting of longstanding employees Mark Trayhorn, Harry Randhawa, Barry Murphy and Alison Duxbury. Founding partners David Ward and Tim Wallbank remain involved as trustee directors.

Ward said: ‘The employee buyout continues our legacy of helping people to feel valued, understood and supported and we’re tremendously excited to be a part of guiding Triangle’s future success.’

Murphy added: ‘Our objective has always been to achieve effective, successful and sustainable design solutions that enhance the lives of the people we serve. Central to achieving this ambition has been our commitment to creating a happy and fulfilling workplace for our staff.

‘The employee ownership model is a proven method of ownership within the sector and one we wholeheartedly believe will work for Triangle.’

Lovelock Mitchell Architects, which has been trading for almost 160 years, said it had made a ‘bold’ move to become staff-owned.

‘The employee-owned trust model has been growing in popularity over recent years in the UK and is being adopted by a wide variety of firms of different sizes and across many different sectors,’ it said in a statement.

The practice said the model encouraged employees to seek improvements, work harder and smarter, foster good practice and increase the long-term performance and security of their business.

‘Becoming employee-owned is a fantastic move for Lovelock Mitchell and this is the model that most appealed to managing director Marc Roberts when he was considering the long-term future of the business,’ it said.

‘Over the last few years Marc has been building the resilience, commitment and engagement of the staff at LMA. Along with experienced business leader Chris Rhodes, Marc has built a collaborative and empowered team with a commitment to knowledge sharing, adoption of effective work practices around planning and decision-making, and who consider wellbeing and fairness at the top of their agenda.

‘This is the ideal foundation for the employee ownership trust model.’

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