29th March …. A Deal to Celebrate at Middleton Hall!

At the end of last year our project team debated about the dates for completion and celebration of Middleton Hall’s transition to Employee Ownership. We had always planned the completion of “the deal” for the end of March, our year end. Setting the day for the party to celebrate was slightly contentious amongst the project team as the obvious Friday was March 29th. “Surely we can’t have a party on Brexit Day” commented one of the team. Visions of our party being interrupted by Remain Activists assuming we were celebrating leaving the EU swirled around.

We concluded that it could be a good news story amongst all the Brexit angst. And at least one cynic stated the UK would not actually leave the EU on March 29th.

And it would appear that Parliament will not be having much of a party on 29th March and Brexit appears to have ground to a halt. Unprecedented chaos in the Houses of Parliament and a government without a Plan B. Or much of a Plan A as it is turning out. Listening to a weary Prime Minister repeat the same mantra that she would deliver what she had promised became increasingly hollow words.

Not so our smooth transition to Employee Ownership.

We have just held the first elections in Middleton Hall’s 119 year history to elect our Co-Owners’ Forum and then Employee Trustees following careful consultation and information. Legal documents in place. New name badges for all 190 Co-Owners ordered. Party planned in careful detail – “A Night of Surprises”.

Our “Night of Surprises” on March 29th will not include changing our mind. Four years of careful research and planning, complete commitment from the shareholders, enthusiasm from our employees, delight from our customers and a great project team to guide the process meant the deal would always be done. And on time.

For one part of the UK there is something significant to celebrate on March 29th.

The first Employee Owned Retirement Village.