CSY Architects has established an Employee Ownership Trust which will become the controlling shareholder of the company and allow the firm’s 24 staff, who work across offices in Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Berwick and Galashiels, to collectively take ownership of the firm for their long-term benefit.
CSY Architects has a wide range of projects in its portfolio, including work with community groups, housing associations and local authorities as part of its values-driven approach to design. The organisation was recently formed through the unification of three existing practices: Camerons Architects, Douglas Strachan Architects and Bain Swan Architects. All have a proud history of local understanding and community involvement.
Douglas Strachan, joint managing director at CSY Architects, commented: “As a practice, we are committed to a local service for the communities that we serve. We believe that it is not only what we do through our work that is important, but also how we do it. By transitioning to an Employee Ownership Trust, we’re ensuring that our values remain at the heart of everything we do. This enables the whole team to pursue a positive ethos of shared endeavour, valuing everyone’s contribution and sharing in the success of the practice.”
Gavin Yuill, joint managing director at CSY Architects, added: “It is brilliant to be working with Triodos Bank, which shares our commitment to working for a better world and is supportive of employee ownership models.”
Rob Keegan, regional manager for Scotland at Triodos Bank UK, said: “As a bank focused on supporting sustainable business models, we see employee ownership as a tool to empower those within a company and to support their wellbeing. In addition, because employee-owned organisations are inherently transparent, they have a strong commitment to positive impact and an active involvement in the communities in which they operate. It is great to be involved in this transition for CSY Architects and we look forward to following the next phase of the organisation’s journey.”
CSY Architects was also supported in its transition to employee ownership by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), with the process managed by Co-ownership Solutions LLP.
Andrew Harrison, partner at Co-ownership Solutions, added: "We are delighted to have helped CSY Architects transfer ownership of the business to its employees. By taking this step, CSY Architects is securing the future of the business, including its ethos, values and employees, while rooting itself locally for the longer term to the benefit of the communities which it serves. The involvement of Triodos Bank shows that lenders are increasingly keen to support this model of ownership."
Notes to editors
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About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany, as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands and active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 63 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.
Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.
Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership business models.
An employee-owned business is one in which the employees hold the majority of the shares either directly or through an employee ownership trust. Selling to employees allows owners to manage their exit and achieve fair value while safeguarding the long-term future of the company. Employee ownership gives employees a meaningful stake in their organisation together with a genuine say Co-in how it is run. It roots business in Scotland, drives performance and delivers economic wellbeing.
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