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Page\Park complete transition to employee ownership

December 11 2013

Page\Park complete transition to employee ownership
Page\Park architects, the Glasgow practice established by David Page and Brian Park in 1981, has become an employee-owned business.

Since its formation the company has expanded to employ 40 people and now turns over £3.5m a year, a 30 per cent increase over the past two years alone.

Refuting reports that the organisational change was designed to presage a departure of both founders however, the practice said in a statement: “There is no exit plan for David and Brian and they intend to stay with the business as long as it is feasible as employees.

"The reason for moving to an employee owned business is to ensure the business is sustained well into the future."

Page added: "Over the last year we have transformed from a traditional architectural partnership into a 40-strong employee-owned company. The journey, which began five years ago, has been an exciting one and we are looking forward to delivering more exceptional work for our clients in years to come.

“Now, when you speak to anyone in Page\Park, you are speaking to someone with a share in the future of the practice, a belief in its values and a commitment to them: a shared optimism. We are following in the footsteps of the likes of Arup and John Lewis, who have quietly trail-blazed employee ownership over many years.

“We have always been a very collaborative organisation so employee ownership – as well as helping us plan for the long-term, including succession – is just a logical extension of our business model.”

The organisational shift was carried out under guidance from Co-operative Development Scotland, the employee ownership support arm of Scottish Enterprise.


#1 Posted by bill on 11 Dec 2013 at 16:22 PM
I wonder what the collective folding of arms symbolises
#2 Posted by dalrylama on 11 Dec 2013 at 17:24 PM
does anyone have any information on what processes come into effect with a collective if say redundancies are necessary?

Just to be clear - I would never wish that on any practice, especially P/P whom I think do some very good work. Just curious as to how such a thing would work...
#3 Posted by Robert on 12 Dec 2013 at 12:26 PM
I expect this is wonderful in terms of staff engagement and motivation. It would be interesting to see how the practicalities are managed; e.g. when staff enter and leave the practice, how salaries are decided, etc.
boaby wan
#4 Posted by boaby wan on 12 Dec 2013 at 12:51 PM
I vaguely remember chris stewart talking about setting up collective - I think there is something like all the "shares" have a nominal value of 1p or something and that entitles the employee to a share of profits (or not!) and that there is a clear position/experience/salary guide in the set up. So that if you leave, you hand back your "share" for the 1p you got it for...
maybe someone more knowledgeable will comment!
#5 Posted by Bob on 12 Dec 2013 at 13:05 PM
Did Collective Architects not do this about 3 years ago ? ......doesnt appear to have done them any harm.
Collective Architecture
#6 Posted by Collective Architecture on 12 Dec 2013 at 14:54 PM
In response to the article comments, Collective Architecture have been an employee-owned company since 2007. There are various models of employee ownership that can be adopted by an architects practice to reward and involve staff in the development of the business. As mentioned in the article, Co-operative Development Scotland can offer advice on the options available. We are delighted that Page / Park have become an employee owned practice and wish them every success in the future!
Glen Dott
#7 Posted by Glen Dott on 16 Dec 2013 at 12:37 PM
In Employee Owned businesses (EOBs) shares can be held indirectly by employee trusts or directly by employees, often both. Inventive structures and mechanisms are used to create vibrant productive, innovative, growth oriented, sustainable businesses. Page\ Park shares are held in an employee trust - as for John Lewis. Employees influence governance via elected board members, trustees and modern transparent management practises. The board sets strategy and managers manage. Decisions (including redundancies) are ultimately taken by managers but most likely after extensive employee consultations, often with reference to customised company ‘articles (rules)’. More info here or
Brian Park
#8 Posted by Brian Park on 21 Dec 2013 at 16:12 PM
Our new employee owned format is designed to ensure the long term future of the practice, owned in Scotland and continuing to develop an ethos and culture of creativity, integrity and making a difference. The aim is that the Trust gives us a vehicle for the latter. Salaries are determined via a totally transparent matrix which factors in experience, responsibility and other factors ...... and which we have had in place for several years now.

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