Tŷ Pren, a roundwood timber frame eco building business, based in woodlands just outside Lampeter, has become a workers’ cooperative.
Established in 2013 by Jamie Miller, Tŷ Pren was already running as a community business, but thanks to the help of Cwmpas (formerly the Wales Cooperative Centre) it is now officially a workers’ cooperative.
A workers’ cooperative is a values-based business, that puts community and worker benefits at the heart of what it does. To that end Jamie, as well as all members of the Tŷ Pren team now run the business on an equal footing.
This new company structure is pivotal to the future of Tŷ Pren, as its mission is to change the way we build in the UK and highlight the importance of introducing roundwood timber building techniques as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to current modern building practices.
“Everything we do at Tŷ Pren is about sustainability, about working with what we have around us to create frames for low carbon homes. We work with local woodland owners to help them manage their woodlands and give us the timber we need to design and construct houses and other buildings. We want to train a new workforce to work sustainably with our natural resources, creating meaningful jobs that make a real positive difference to each individual, and to our communities.
“Our company ethos is more than just about construction, it’s about creating beautiful, much needed affordable, carbon neutral homes, that help towards making an environmentally progressive culture – and so being a workers’ cooperative was key to that.
“We can’t thank Cwmpas enough for their help in guiding us through this process – our new company structure truly reflects us through and through.”
Jamie Miller and the team at Tŷ Pren was supported in becoming a workers’ Cooperative by Social Business Wales, which is delivered by Cwmpas, the new name for the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Cwmpas, which delivers Social Business Wales, said:
“Again, it is great to see another successful Welsh business look at the cooperative model as a way to reflect its values as a business.
“Tŷ Pren is a great example of how using a workers’ cooperative can help a business like Tŷ Pren further spread its message of sustainable, eco-friendly buildings, and make a difference to its team and its local community. I can’t wait to see it go from strength to strength under its new structure.”
The Employee Ownership Wales service is part of the Social Business Wales programme delivered by Cwmpas. It is part of the Business Wales family and funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
For more information about employee ownership, visit: https://employeeownershipwales.co.uk/.