A BBC presenter helped a unique Swindon business mark 10 years of being owned by its employees.

A decade ago, National Self Build & Renovation Centre formed The Homebuilding Centre Ltd to operate the West Swindon venue which offers independent homebuilding advice and support.

Now, the NSBRC’s 20 employees now own 80 per cent of the company through a combination of direct shares and shares held in an employee ownership trust while the remaining shares are held by Capital for Colleagues, an investment group that specialises in transitioning businesses to an employee-owned model.

A few days ago, the team held a special dinner with more than 100 guests in the large space full of show houses.

BBC News presenter and journalist Martine Croxall hosted the evening, spoke about the importance of transparency and trust in the media, then introduced other guest speakers including the employee ownership association CEO James de le Vingne.

The evening concluded with a surprise awards ceremony where the NSBRC team recognised and thanked several of their key suppliers and supporters who have helped the business across the last decade.

Martine Croxall said: "It was a treat to be invited to host the NSBRC's celebration evening.

“The hard work of the first ten years of employee ownership and the team spirit they've created meant the atmosphere during dinner and the awards ceremony was joyful!

“Harvey and the other employee owners should be very proud of what they've achieved."

NSBRC managing director Harvey Fremlin added: “We were thrilled to be able to celebrate such an important moment for our business with so many of our colleagues, friends and supporters.

“Every employee was invited to bring along their partner, as our employee-owned culture has created a caring, family environment.

“We were also delighted to celebrate some of our key suppliers, such as our amazing cleaning team - who are often in the background - but have made a massive impact on the customer experience we deliver. Having the employee ownership trust represented by James, and the fantastic support of Martine, was the icing on the cake and made for a memorable, inspirational night for everyone’.

Employee ownership is a rapidly growing business model in the UK, and such businesses regularly outperform non-EO peers in almost every metric – they are eight to 12 per cent more productive and invest more in their people, innovation, and communities.

Employee ownership association CEO James de le Vingne said: “Congratulations to everyone at the NSBRC on 10 years of employee ownership, and for celebrating with such flair. “Your energy and enthusiasm for all you do, and for one another, as fellow employee-owners made for a very special evening. As early adopters of this trust,, it's fantastic to see you flourishing and to have this recognised by those closest to you. “Thank you for inviting me and for being such fantastic employee ownership advocates, you are certainly paving the way for others to follow.”

The evening recognised local suppliers and provided guests with a three course meal cooked by local caterer Black Dog Catering - based in Royal Wotton Bassett - with staging and lighting created by Swindon-based Corporate Events.

The centre is located near Junction 16 of the M4 and open year-round from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Since first opening in 2007, it has welcomed more than 250,000 visitors.

Their next free event – with tickets available via https://www.nsbrc.co.uk - is a Heat and Energy Workshop on Saturday, August 10, which will include over a dozen talks on topics such as heap pumps, solar, electric vehicles, smart controls and rainwater harvesting.