Employees taking on ownership at technology development company

Consult Red, a Shipley-based technology development firm, is becoming an employee-owned company.

Its directors are transferring shares of the £18m turnover business to an Employee-owned Trust (EOT) to benefit employees.

The firm develops cutting-edge in-home entertainment technology and other innovative ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) products.

It was established in 2003 by five engineers and works with many of the world’s leading brands, including Virgin Media and Liberty Global, Sky and Comcast, and AT&T and DirecTV.

In the last 12 months, Consult Red has grown its team by 60 people to over 220 strong (up 37%) across its three offices in the UK, Poland and the US.

Its growth and job creation is driven by increasing demand for smart, connected products and pioneering developments in media entertainment and IoT devices and systems.

Connected devices and systems developed by Consult Red are currently in more than 30 million homes worldwide.

Andrew Stewart, CEO, said: “Our success reflects the changing face of R&D. The company has led the way in providing services to clients large and small who need to access highly talented technology development teams without incurring delay or ongoing costs.

“This model fits with today’s economy where successful firms deliver innovation by attracting and retaining the best talent in agile teams who are ready to go.

“This is such a proud moment for my team and me. We recognise our success is founded on the value of our people.

“Transferring ownership to our employees means we can continue to be guided by our principles; that the company’s value is embedded in the skills, expertise and diligence of its team.

“Employee ownership will strengthen the business and is the perfect way to recognise the hard work and talent of our team.”

Karen Bach, company chairman, added: “Consult Red has built an amazingly talented team working with top tier global customers who value the team’s tech expertise hugely.

“We have an exciting journey ahead of us, building on that talent and helping new customers with their tech projects.

“The transition to an employee-owned business makes our journey ahead even more exciting as good people get rewarded directly for their good work, and that is truly a win-win for everyone.”

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) says more than 470 businesses have now adopted this ownership model, with at least 50 more preparing to follow suit.

Deb Oxley, chief executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Consult Red and its new employee-owners – their move to employee ownership will sustain the values and independence of the business for the longer term.”