Nick Clegg Opens New EOA Office in Sheffield

Deputy PM and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, reaffirmed his support for employee ownership on Friday by officially opening the new Sheffield office of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), co-located on the premises of Gripple Limited, one of the UK’s best examples of the effective and increasingly popular business culture.

The EOA’s chief executive, Iain Hasdell, was joined by Gripple Chairman Hugh Facey and a number of other local employee owned business representatives to witness Mr Clegg ‘cutting the ribbon’ and to participate in a question and answer roundtable.

Nick Clegg MP said: “I am a strong advocate of co-owned firms because they put more people in the driving seat and allow employees to reap the benefits of their hard work. All the evidence shows that these companies are more successful and leading to faster economic growth. You only have to look at Sheffield’s Gripple to see just how successful an employee owned business can be.

“Employee ownership is a way of being your own boss and I want to do everything possible to see it entering the bloodstream of the British economy. Therefore, I am delighted that our city will be home to an Employee Ownership Association office dedicated to promoting this way of doing business.”

During the official opening of the office, EOA CEO Iain Hasdell said: “EOA should never lose touch with the fact that the real value of employee ownership is being seen in towns and cities across the country. So, it should come as no surprise that we are opening a second office here, in Sheffield.

“This is a critical time for employee ownership.  There is much to be positive about but also so much more that needs to be done to improve the climate for employee owners.

“Employee ownership provides a brilliant opportunity for the UK economy. Together we must continue to promote employee ownership and make the case for structured, specific, reforms that will encourage its growth.”

Hugh Facey, Gripple Chairmna, added: “Gripple is in the hands of entrepreneurial and innovative staff who are custodians of each other’s money. Employee ownership fosters openness, trust and ensures everyone has an opportunity to learn about the business and become more involved, if they so wish. Commitment levels have always been high, but I think 100% employee ownership gives us that extra sense of accountability and common purpose. We’re absolutely delighted to have everyone on board.”

Every member of Gripple’s 350-strong workforce is a shareholder of the world beating, multi-awarding manufacturer of unique wire joining devices, and has a vested and personal interest in the values-driven, single-status company’s continuing success at home and overseas.  Mr Facey is a firm believer in employee ownership, has been an EOA board member for a number of years and an unflagging ‘flag bearer’ for the ethos.

Watch a video of Mr Clegg’s opening remarks here: