Lichfield freight company creates jobs through growth

Freight forwarding company Espace Europe has taken on 10 people over the previous 18 months – as well as an apprentice – and is set to recruit again as it continues to grow.

Tony Shally with Espace Europe's new starters
Tony Shally with Espace Europe's new starters

“Our plan is to turnover £9 million this year and £10m next year; doubling our figure of £5m in 2017," explained Lichfield-based Espace’s managing director Tony Shally.

It follows his decision in September 2017 to transfer 100 per cent of the shares of his company to his staff, making his then team of 17 the sole beneficiaries via an Employee Ownership Trust.

“Since the transfer, turnover has increased, the team has swelled to 27, profits have increased by 35 per cent, additional premises have been secured, and three new services are now offered to our clients. And importantly, staff engagement and motivation levels are at an all-time high. Our people are at the centre of Espace and they understand what customers want,” said Mr Shally.

The employee ownership model caught the attention of Solihull-based freight company, Westhaven Worldwide Logistics, which liked the concept so much, they sold their business to Espace in June 2018 and transferred their three employees to Espace’s Lichfield office.

“The switch to employee ownership and the purchase of WWL has been a ‘win win’ for everyone. My loyal staff are helping me to develop Espace into the Midland’s ‘go-to’ company for commercial freight delivery on a national, European and global scale. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to leave my company to them," said Mr Shally.

Marking Employee Ownership Association’s Employee Ownership Day, Espace will be hosting a family fun day on Saturday, June 29 for Espace’s 27 staff, their partners and children.

Espace Europe is the only employee-owned freight forwarding business in the UK

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