Scottish firm transfers ownership to 500 staff


Tough Construction has transferred its entire shareholding to its 500 employees, making it the largest employee-owned business in Scotland.

Tough Construction workers on-site.
Credit: Tough Construction.

Shareholders Bob Leishman, George Duncan and Kenny MacKenzie will hand over the Glasgow-based firm to an employee ownership trust (EOT) and retire, according to The Herald. 

Tough Construction specialises in civil engineering and groundworks and works primarily in housebuilding and commercial construction projects across Scotland. 

The firm completed groundworks packages for Taylor Wimpey on its 110-home scheme in Linewood in 2022, and Balfour Beatty Homes for 89 houses in East Kilbride in 2021. 

Full scope

The new board for Tough Construction will include: 

  • Gary Hassan, commercial director. 
  • Mhari Greer, finance director. 
  • Craig Lavery, construction director.
  • Gillian Beaton, procurement director.
  • Alistair Lauder, managing director. 

Accountancy firm Azets managed the move to employee ownership, according to BBC News. 

Tough Construction, which will hit 50 years in the business in 2024, has invested in training for its staff, and has received several accreditations from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Construction Line and The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS).

“Our success is largely due to the loyal team we have at Tough Construction. We are fortunate that we have a low turnover relative to the sector, and that’s largely because we like to think we look after our people well, offering opportunities for training and development,” said Bob Leishman. 

Tough Construction was approached for further information. 

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