The National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon has won a national business award in recognition of its outstanding performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The centre won the Employee Ownership Association’s award for Business Resilience from a short-list of 13 companies.
Entrants were invited to submit a written story about how they addressed the challenges faced by employee-owned businesses over the past 18 months. Businesses of all sizes wrote about how their focus on their staff supported their health and wellbeing, helped the business to adapt and delivered benefit for multiple stakeholders.
Votes were cast by EO members, with the winners announced at the association’s annual conference.
Harvey Fremlin, MD of the NSBRC, said: “As soon as the Prime Minister instructed the nation to ‘stay at home’, we realised the pandemic would have a fundamental impact on our business. It left us with some daunting questions. How could we run a national visitor centre with no visitors, and how to do that from our own kitchens or hastily made home-offices?
“We had previously taken on the business following a period of adversity, and have made a great success of things in recent years, so I was confident that we would be able to overcome the challenge of the pandemic.
“What I perhaps underestimated, was the sheer energy, tenacity and passion that my colleagues displayed to ensure that not only did we survive, but indeed thrived, and we now have new products and an enhanced offering for our visitors and exhibitors. I am absolutely thrilled, on behalf of all the team, to win this award and it is particularly special as it was voted on by our peers.”
EOA chief executive Deb Oxley said: “We are delighted for NSBRC It shows how the trust that has been built up in the business, by leveraging the strengths they have developed through being employee owned, supported them to quickly adapt and flex their offer - from being an exhibition venue almost totally reliant on in-person activity to seeking out ways to offer customer value digitally.”
The NSBRC is the UK’s only visitor centre for those looking to build or renovate.
Since November 2014, the NSBRC has been employee-owned with a ‘hybrid’ ownership model, with all of the team owning shares, some directly and all indirectly through their Employee Ownership Trust.