Heritage sector specialist Purcell Architects transitions to employee ownership model

Image: Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich © Purcell

Purcell Architects has this month become an employee-owned business, with studios across the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia now operated by an employee-ownership trust.

The decision forms the basis of the “next phase in our business’s development”, a company statement reads, recognising the work of its multidisciplinary team who have been “instrumental” to the growth achieved since Donovan Purcell founded the practice more than 50 years ago.

Projects undertaken by Purcell in the culture and heritage sectors include a scheme of conservation, refurbishment and restoration at the National Maritime Museum, long-running conservation support for Canterbury Cathedral, and the regeneration of Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong.

National Maritime Museum © Morley Von Sternberg

The firm moving into employee ownership “outlines the plans we have for the progression of the business and our ability to continue delivering excellent design and consultancy for our clients both now and in the future,” states Purcell CEO Mark Goldspink.

Employees will be represented at the company’s summit by the Purcell Board and newly appointed chair Liz Smith, who will work alongside Alex Holton, chair of Purcell EO Trustees. Emma Bryant, Ewa Lenart, Lucy Burke-Smith, Alasdair Jones and Tom Brigden will all serve as trustees, with Sue Lawrence acting as non-executive trustee.

“Becoming an employee-owned business will supercharge the collaborative and positive culture we already have at Purcell,” according to Holton. “This next step in our evolution is a celebratory reminder of the excellence of our technical, support and operation teams, and how we are a resilient organisation that puts our clients and people first.”

More information on Purcell’s work with museums and heritage organisations can be found here.