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Proudly Employee Owned

Last updated: 17/06/2024

This year's Employee Ownership Day theme is, #ProudlyEO and that couldn’t be more apt. Go Ape is proud to have been Employee Owned for over 2 years and, to celebrate the day, we thought we’d let you peek behind the curtain and find out a bit more about what being an Employee-Owned business means.

What is employee ownership (EO)

Let’s start with what exactly Employee Ownership is.

Employee owned (EO) businesses are totally or significantly owned by their employees. In the UK employee ownership sector, there are a few different models of EO from direct ownership to indirect ownership, and a hybrid model of the two.

Indirect Ownership

A large proportion of EO businesses in the UK have the indirect ownership model which means that the shares are held in trust for its beneficiaries, the employees.

Trust Board

In this model, the Trust Board acts as guardians of the business, making sure that it is run in a way that is aligned to its values and is in the best interests of its beneficiaries. This is the model we have at Go Ape.

There has been a huge surge in the employee ownership sector and there is no sign of this waning. The EO business model has shown that, when employees are owners, they feel more motivated and inspired to work collaboratively towards a common purpose.

Go Ape instructors on climbing frame

Why is Go Ape Employee Owned?

Over the last 20+ years Go Ape has grown from strength to strength, building a national business we can be proud of and providing adventures for over 10 million customers.

In October 2021, we set off on our next adventure and 90% of Go Ape shares were transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust to benefit all current and future employees. Rebecca and Tristram will retain the remaining 10% of the business.

This ensured that Go Ape can remain independent, keeping our values protected and our employees at the centre of everything we do.

Being employee-owned means that we can be confident about our future, plan for the long term and strive to be a highly successful business with a very clear purpose to:
  • Provide worth-while rewarding careers for all our co-owners;
  • Keep the “adventure” in adventure and continuing to challenge ourselves and our customers; and

  • Keep corporate and social responsibility at the heart of Go Ape and to do even more for our communities, the environment and charitable partners.

Our Go Ape Co-Owner Council

The key role of the Employee Ownership is to hear and amplify the voices of our co-owners.

Our Councillors act as the eyes and ears of co-owners, representing our views and interests on the topics that matter most to us. This insight and steer in turn influences leadership thinking and decision-making for the future.

Thoughts from our new councillors for 2024 on joining the Council

Over the past 3 years we’ve made changes, great and small, in answer to our co-owners and we can’t wait to continue to grow and learn as an Employee Owned business.

Discover more about employee ownership

Find out more

Person on Go Ape zip line