Member News | LDA Design becomes employee-owned business

Independent design, environment and planning consultancy LDA Design has become a 100% employee-owned business.

LDA Design has set up an Employee Ownership Trust to acquire all the shares of the nine owners, which provides a route to succession that builds on everything they have done over the last 42 years, and assures the long-term independence of the business.

LDA Design has been working towards this move for a number of years, confident that a business in which all employees have a stake will enjoy greater success. The time has been used to develop new more democratic structures, shaped by the team, and ensure that its 170 people understand what employee ownership means for them.

Jane Mitchell has been appointed as an independent chair to the Employee Ownership Trust which will promote and protect the long-term interests of the business. It will assess progress against the commitments in a new charter which reflect the values and thinking of the entire team and guides all that it does.

“This is the most significant day in our history,” says Frazer Osment, LDA Design Chair.  “Businesses that are values-driven and purposeful are needed more than ever, to respond to the huge challenges facing society and the environment.

“Employee ownership is an important way to unlock the brilliance of the collective. It is the ultimate expression of our faith in each other. We have already undergone a major shift in how we manage our teams and mentor our people and plan succession. Now all of our employees can help to shape the direction of the business, and benefit from its growth Having a dynamic and self-motivated team in which everyone is an employee owner will also be better for our clients: we will become stronger and more diverse and creative.”

LDA Design’s landscape-led approach connects people and place. Its team include masterplanners, urban designers, landscape architects, ecologists and town and environmental planners. Whether it is reimagining the future of town centres, finding ways to achieve net zero, responding to the biodiversity crisis, or planning and delivering infrastructure, urban districts and parks, LDA Design starts with what people need and want.

Recent projects include: a new settlement at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire; Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm; a car-free Strand in London and George Street in Edinburgh.

Frazer Osment LDA Design Chair, is available for interview and comment.