AN AWARD-winning business which worked on the Harry Potter studio tour and major projects for McLaren and Mercedes is to be owned by its own staff.

Bournemouth-based planning, design and environmental consultancy Terence O’Rourke Ltd has established an employee-owned trust (EOT) to give staff full and equal ownership.

The firm provided planning services and landscape architecture for the Warner Bros Studio Tour The Making of Harry Potter and Warner Bros Studios Leavesden.

It also worked on planning consents for the McLaren Campus near Woking, the Mercedes-Benz World in Surrey and the Rolls-Royce HQ in Chichester.

It provided planning and architecture for the Chewton Glen Hotel at New Milton and its treehouse suites, Marwell Zoo’s tropical house and the Citrus Building at Bournemouth’s Horseshoe Common.

Chairman Tim Hancock said: “The establishment of the EOT will provide comfort to clients regarding the long-term independence of TOR whilst enabling employees to have collective control of their future, benefitting directly from the company’s success.”

Managing director Jacqueline Mulliner said: “The EOT represents a fantastic legacy. All the current directors have been with the company for much of their careers and have appreciated the independence and support the company has been able to offer.

“Being able to secure these career opportunities for current and future staff is a significant moment in the company’s history and progression. Before finalising the EOT we spoke to our staff and gained unanimous support for the approach. Transition to an EOT is something of which we are all very proud.”

The company has been in private hands, owned substantially by its board, for 36 years. It said the directors had decided an EOT was the best way to remain independent, reward staff, maintain standards and ethics and offer the best client care.

Its directors wanted a more sustainable succession strategy, removing financial barriers to future leadership, and embracing social enterprise and employee engagement, it said.