UK tent brand Terra Nova becomes employee owned

One of the UK’s best-known tent manufacturers Terra Nova has taken the decision to become employee owned. The company, which also encompasses the Wild Country and Extremities brands, has been run by husband and wife team Andy Utting and Carolyn Budding for the past 22 years. The couple have now transferred their ownership to an employee ownership trust in a move aimed at giving staff a greater sense of ownership and its benefits as the business continues to grow and develop.

Andy Utting explained: “We are in the business of facilitating sport, adventure and travel that is outdoor recreation. Our business has been built on the ideas of enthusiasts, users and experts in designing and manufacturing some of the best specialist products in the world.

“We wanted to not only reward our staff for the work and commitment they have put in, but to secure the character of the business. The outdoor industry has been built by specialist businesses creating best-in-class products, with those businesses often being swallowed up into larger organisations as their owners and founders move on. We believe the future evolution of Terra Nova Equipment is best served through its continued independence, which employee ownership delivers.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Budding added: “We have a great and loyal team, some of whom we’ve worked with for 22 years. People enjoy working in our businesses, so it was important to retain the culture and provide ongoing job security for our staff as we develop the succession plan for the ongoing leadership of the business.

“Sylwester Wacht was appointed as managing director of the group and subsidiaries some 18 months ago, enabling Andy to concentrate on the transition of the Hubaco Group businesses to employee ownership.”

The Terra Nova team believe that there is clear evidence that companies with significant levels of employee ownership have happier workforces with more engaged and innovative staff, as well as lower levels of absenteeism and staff turnover.