New trust structure

Scotland’s oldest gallery opts for employee ownership

Managing director Christina Jansen with newly appointed director Kirsty Sumerling, and director Tommy Zwy

Scotland’s oldest commercial art gallery has become one of the first to be acquired by its staff through an Employee Ownership Trust.

The gallery has traded continually since 1842, and the EOT structure is the latest in a variety of ownership models it has adopted over its long history. 

Managing director Christina Jansen took advice from Carole Leslie from Ownership Associates to make the change.

Shareholders, including Gallery Director Guy Peploe who has served 35 years with the company, agreed to sell to the trust ensuring that The Scottish Gallery has a stable, Scotland-based owner as well as continuity of management. 

The Scottish Gallery has championed contemporary art since its inception.  Current exhibitions include a retrospective from Victoria Crowe, art from Rebecca Collins and jewellery from Jackie Lillie.  Forth coming exhibitions include work from Kate Downie, and recent Glasgow School of Art graduate Hannah Mooney who was awarded the Fleming-Wyfold Bursary in 2018.

Mr Peploe said: “I look forward to many more years of involvement in a future proof structure that should see The Scottish Gallery past its bicentenary. 

“We are grateful to our chairman Will Whitehorn  (also chairman of SEC and deputy chairman of Stagecoach) who is the architect of this project and a good example of a chairman acting in the interests of the company,  the shareholders, the staff, our heritage and our future.”

Bank of Scotland provided a funding package to support the Employee Ownership Trust’s acquisition of the business.

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