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7N Architects Embraces Employee Ownership for Future Growth and Collaboration

Scottish architect goes employee-owned

The leadership team at 7N Architects has undergone a significant transformation, with Ewan Anderson, the founding director, transferring his total shareholding to a trust representing all 24 employees. This move signifies a shift towards a more collaborative and employee-centric leadership model.

The new board of directors comprises Anderson, along with co-directors Ben Watson and Craig Tait. They will work closely with a board of trustees, including an independent chair, John Hume, and employee representatives Lisa Blyth and Laura Adamson, who were elected by their peers.

Originally formed by seven members who chose to remain in the ‘north’ after breaking away from a previous architectural practice, 7N Architects has since expanded to include 24 staff members. Initially focused on master planning, the company has diversified its portfolio to encompass various residential, civic, and commercial developments.

7N Architects Embraces Employee Ownership for Future Growth and Collaboration

7N Architects Embraces Employee Ownership for Future Growth and Collaboration (Credits: Scottish Finance News)

Ewan Anderson reflects on the journey of 7N Architects since its inception during the financial crisis of 2009. Despite facing numerous challenges, the company has experienced steady growth and has been involved in transformative projects across Scotland and the UK, emphasizing its commitment to placemaking.

The practice has been involved in a wide range of projects, from developing city center strategies to designing university campuses and new station concepts for Network Rail. They have also contributed to housing projects in diverse communities and proposed innovative workspaces prioritizing people’s well-being in their designs.

The completion of the Employee Ownership Trust marks a significant milestone for 7N Architects. With all team members actively involved in the process, the new leadership structure aims to provide a robust management framework while empowering every employee to contribute to the company’s future success.

Architect Lisa Blyth, one of the original founders, highlights the inclusive nature of the employee ownership process, which involved workshops to define the company’s purpose and future focus. The resulting flexible and democratic management structure reflects the collaborative working environment that 7N Architects has fostered over the years.

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