Falkirk publishing firm starts new chapter with switch to employee ownership model

Palimpest Book Production Ltd owners Craig and Ruth Morrison have a succession plan which will see their 21 employees given a stake in the firm. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Palimpest Book Production Ltd owners Craig and Ruth Morrison have a succession plan which will see their 21 employees given a stake in the firm. Picture: Colin Hattersley

A Falkirk firm is beginning a new chapter as it transitions into an employee ownership business model.

Palimpsest Book Production is to give its 21 members of staff a stake in the company as part of a succession plan written up by owners Craig and Ruth Morrison.

Eager to ensure the business will continue to operate successfully long after retiring, the pair decided to turn to the model after attending a Co-operative Development Scotland seminar on the subject.

Craig and Ruth have now sold a controlling interest in the firm to an Employee Ownership Trust which will hold shares on behalf of their employees, allowing the staff to benefit from its future success.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, Craig said: “We were immediately attracted to the idea of transitioning to employee ownership because it would enable us to realise part of our investment while continuing to work in the business until we are ready to retire.

“Employee ownership will also ensure that Palimpsest continues to thrive, offering employment and careers in Scotland into the future. With a client base ranging from leading international publishing companies to self-publishing authors and an ‘end to end’ range of pre-press services, the new Employee Ownership Trust has a strong foundation.”

Palimpsest started off in modest surroundings in the Morrisons’ home in 1994 but quickly grew before adding new staff and moving to new premises within the first year of opening.

The Etna Road business now provides a range of pre-press services, including typesetting, proofreading, digital publishing, design and reprographics to the UK publishing market.

Ongoing investment in training and technology, particularly at the advent of ‘e’ publishing, has helped maintain Palimpsest’s position at the forefront of the industry.

Craig added: “We’ve had an amazing journey over the last 24 years, with clients telling us that we have become their trusted partners in both print and digital book publishing.

“Ruth and I are delighted we now have a succession solution in place, though have no plans to retire for a while yet.”