Interiors business transitions to employee ownership

An example of WSDB's work

Manchester-based fit out contractor Workspace Design and Build has transitioned into employee ownership 19 years since its inception.

Established in 2004 by Russell Davis and David Barfield, the company delivers projects throughout the North West and Midlands, including interior design, furniture procurement and delivery for office refurbishments.

Now, the eligible members of staff who work for Workspace Design and Build will own the company due to its transition to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). 

This is an indirect form of employee ownership, where the shares are held collectively on behalf of employees via the EOT.

The boards of Workspace Design and Build Ltd (trading company) and the EOT, comprises David Barfield, Russell Davis, Laura Faulkner, Lauren Hart and Richard Barsby as directors.

Russell Davis said: “Employee ownership was a way in ensuring we could keep our great team, continue to invest in the business and ensure the future of the company throughout the North West and Midlands”.

“Much of the success Workspace Design and Build has seen is through the brilliant people employed. This is one of the reasons why David and I decided on the employee ownership route. We knew it would add stability and ensure that Workspace Design and Build would continue to prosper with the business now in the hands of the staff.”

David Barfield said: “When Russell and I were looking at our options, we had different routes we could go down, but employee ownership felt like the best fit”.

“Our team have shown us huge amounts of support throughout the years – without them, we would not have been able to grow the business to what it is today”.

A team from national law firm Freeths including Rosanna Brown, Senior Associate in the corporate team and a team from Mazars including Steve English advised Workspace Design and Build on the deal.


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