ISA-UK Member, Applelec Sign Components, the Bradford-based architectural lighting and trade signage manufacturer, announces that it has become an employee-owned business. Founded by Ian Drinkwater and Paul Stothers, Applelec has grown to become one of the UK’s leading providers of bespoke Signage and Architectural Lighting solutions.
Applelec’s employees are now indirect owners of the business, through a newly formed Employee Ownership Trust. Employee ownership is an increasingly popular option for exiting business owners who are looking to leave a legacy. Employee-owned businesses often benefit from higher levels of employee engagement, motivation and wellbeing, and increased productivity.
Jonathan Bradley and Carl Eastwood take over the Signage and Lighting business units and are appointed as Managing Directors for their respective divisions. Founders Ian and Paul will play reduced roles in the business; however, they retain ownership of the premises from which the business operates and are now expanding the site as part of an ambitious property development. This exciting investment will enable Applelec to continue its recent growth trajectory as they expand business operations into the new on-site facilities.
Paul Stothers commented “We are so proud of what everyone has built over the years and we are excited by the fact that we can continue to provide a developing infrastructure to allow for the business to move into its next stage of growth.” Ian Drinkwater added, “The employees have made Applelec the success that it is today. It is a great privilege to leave the company in their capable hands, whilst providing security for their future with the company”.
Established in 1998, Applelec has emerged from humble beginnings, once a team of 4, working out of a small office on the outskirts of Bradford. Now Applelec is a 65 strong workforce operating out of a 6.3 acre vertically integrated factory and suite of offices. The successful team comprises of a mix of product designers, technical engineers, manufacturing experts and industry specialist sales consultants. Collectively they deliver an impressive array of visually stunning bespoke lighting and signage solutions.