Forty-six employees at The Priory Lodge in Beauly have been given a stake within the enterprise after it grew to become the most recent firm in Scotland to turn into employee-owned.
Based in 1972 by Stuart Hutton, the lodge has turn into an area establishment, rising from 12 bedrooms to 39 bedrooms and providing a busy restaurant, bar and occasional lounge that are frequented by company and locals. Through the years, Stuart and his household have performed a key function within the day-to-day administration and working of the lodge. Nevertheless, after over forty years of enterprise, he started to think about his retirement and what that may imply for the resorts future.
Commenting on Stuarts choices, his son Kenneth Hutton defined: My dad was on the stage the place he was contemplating a step again from the enterprise. He had put the lodge in the marketplace lately and had a few commerce sale provides, nevertheless, he did not really feel that the potential patrons have been the appropriate match for the lodge. A employees member had as soon as talked about worker possession as a possible resolution to this it meant the enterprise can be bought to those that understand it finest, and it would not be taken over by a big chain. The choice caught with my dad and when he felt like he had the right administration group in place, the time was proper to start progressing the buyout.
Kenneth grew up with the lodge since childhood and regardless of taking a special profession course as a golf skilled, he has turn into concerned once more over the previous few years. He’ll turn into managing director of the corporate and can oversee its operation, as his dad begins to take away himself from the enterprise. A few of the key administration group will assume positions on the board. Kate Melens would be the Basic Supervisor of the lodge, bringing a wealth of expertise and a contemporary view to the way in which the enterprise must develop with altering instances.
Kenneth continued, Beauly is a small city and many individuals from the realm have labored on the lodge over time. Many marriages have been cast at our discos and musical occasions within the 70s and 80s, and folks nonetheless journey from far and huge for our meals choices, and specifically our well-known Sunday carvery and conventional Excessive Teas. The Priory Lodge is a big a part of the local people and a takeover by a big chain may have put jobs and firm values in danger. By promoting to his workers, my dad is aware of that the enterprise he spent 46 years constructing is now within the fingers of a loyal and invested group that desires one of the best for the lodge and the native space. The employees are very excited by the information and are wanting ahead to studying extra concerning the function they’ll play within the resorts future.
An Worker Possession Belief has been shaped which is able to maintain 72% of the shares on behalf of the workers. Kenneth Hutton will retain the majority of the remaining shareholding, to display that the household stays dedicated to the continuation of the lodge. The transition to worker possession was supported by Co-operative Improvement Scotland (CDS) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with the method managed by Possession Associates, authorized companies by Anderson Strathern and accountancy assist from Johnston Carmichael.
Stuart added: The assist we acquired from Possession Associates all through the transition to EO was invaluable. We have been totally knowledgeable on how the mannequin works and what it will imply for the enterprise and we got nice recommendation on how finest to construction the corporate. They have been additionally very useful in explaining the method to our employees. Our accountants, Johnston and Carmichael, and specifically John Todd, have been very good as ever in ensuring the numbers all labored. Anderson Strathern supplied wonderful authorized recommendation all through.
The deal was partly financed by Handelsbanken, with the rest by the use of vendor mortgage. Stuart explains. We spoke to a couple potential funders and located Handelsbanken to be very supportive of our transfer to worker possession, and so they had the deal ready shortly and effectively.
Sarah Deas, director at CDS, the arm of Scotlands enterprise businesses which promotes worker possession, mentioned: Stuart has spent over half his life constructing a profitable and much-loved native enterprise. By handing management over to a group that he is aware of and trusts, the resorts necessary standing locally is protected, together with jobs and firm ethos. We’re thrilled to welcome The Priory Lodge to Scotlands rising EO neighborhood and need the enterprise each success for its future.
Peter Allen, account supervisor at HIE, mentioned: Transferring possession to workers is a superb choice for enterprise house owners and we’re delighted to assist Stuart and Kenneth and the group via the method. Worker possession is an efficient method to drive enterprise efficiency by boosting productiveness, rising worker engagement and maintaining the corporate locally. We’d encourage anybody serious about choices for future constructions to decide on worker possession to assist construct a extra various and sustainable financial system.
Bruce Farquhar, Chairman at Anderson Strathern whose Company & Business Contracts group suggested the household on the deal, sees worker possession as the important thing to succession for a lot of Scottish companies. A sale to an Worker Possession Belief supplies a tax-effective exit route for enterprise house owners. Many entrepreneurs do not need to see another person’s title over the door of the enterprise they began. The worker possession choice permits the previous proprietor to get a superb value for the corporate, and stay as concerned as they need to be. It is proving to be an more and more widespread choice.
Statistics persistently display that employee-owned companies outperform their non EO counterparts when it comes to increased ranges of profitability; improved enterprise resilience throughout instances of recession; elevated productiveness led to by increased ranges of engagement and enhanced worker wellbeing.
There are round 100 employee-owned firms working in Scotland, with roughly 7,000 employee-owners producing a mixed turnover of round 940million.

Nicely 400 years later the eponymous description nonetheless matches. Actually, Beauly lately received the title ‘Finest Massive Village’ within the Britain in Bloom competitors. Past the cornucopia of flowers bedecking the market sq. and buildings, Beauly is within the midst of a few of Scotland’s best mountains and glens. Glen Affric, Glen Cannich and Strathfarrar are on Beauly’s doorstep. They’re reckoned to be three of Scotland’s best glens. They’re adorned with grand previous Scots Pines, Wild Orchids and Primroses; they’re inhabited by the Purple Squirrel, Pine Martin, Deer, Wildcat and Black Grouse. Excessive above these wealthy pure environments soar awe-inspiring snow clad Munros circled by Golden Eagles.
The village boasts an array of retailers from specialist outfitters, espresso retailers and a delicatessen to the extra conventional amenities of banks, publish workplace, butcher and baker.
Each Thursday night time (June – Sept) we’ve got leisure within the sq. within the entrance of the lodge with highland dancing and a full pipe band.
That is undoubtedly a heavenly place to roam, to cycle, to pony-trek, to canoe, to fish or shoot, to play golf, or simply sit within the solar by a nonetheless loch and meditate.