Midlands-based worktop and decorative surface distributor Blackheath Products will become an Employee Owned Trust (EOT) during March 2023.

Blackheath Products holds over £7.5million of worktops, decorative laminates and solid surfaces, which it distributes to kitchen and bathroom retailers, merchants, shopfitters and furniture manufacturers across the UK and Ireland.

Privately-owned by the same family for over four generations, the company has an annual turnover of over £24m, and employs around 60 staff members.

Managing director of Blackheath Products Mark Murphy said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for all of us at Blackheath Products.

“The Foster family has owned the business for over 90 years and their decision to transition the company to an Employee Owned Trust is driven by a passion to keep jobs in the West Midlands and continue to grow as an independent business.

“Our focus is now on our shared, exciting future, with everyone working creatively together to develop new products and services to support our customers and suppliers.”

Ian Foster, whose family owned Blackheath Products, said: “For over four generations, my family has worked with so many amazing colleagues.

“It is a privilege to be able to repay their contribution by offering all current employees the opportunity to make it their own business, within an Employee Owned Trust.”

The UK Government introduced the scheme in September 2014 to encourage more companies to structure their businesses in a similar way to ‘the John Lewis model’, EOT’s enable employee ownership through the award of indirect holdings.

Following an EOT, all employees gain an indirect stake in the company. The move is designed to benefit from greater employee engagement, more innovation, and improved business performance.