A COMPANY, based in a village near Winchester, has reported a strong year of trading after becoming an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Huxley Golf, which is based in the village of Warnford, has been owned by an EOT since August 2020, following the Huxley family’s decision to provide for the long-term future of the business.

This means that employees run the company and benefit from sharing its profits.

Director of Huxley Golf and director of the trust company, Paul Huxley, said: “EOTs remain few and far between in the UK.

“In the golf sector, it’s quite unique. However, the last twelve months have proven that transitioning to this business model has been an incredibly positive step, both for our company and for our customers.

“At the end of our first year as an EOT, we’ve achieved a strong year financially and we’ve retained all of our team members without government support.”

Despite temporary closures and related drops in expenditure, Huxley Golf says that many clubs and courses have taken the opportunity of lower footfall to accelerate planned updates for their facilities and to enhance their offering with new practice tees, short game areas and even nine-hole courses.

At the same time, installations of greens for private householders have increased as people are investing more in family fun at home rather than abroad.

Director Jo Lyon said: “We have had a 50 per cent increase in enquiries compared to the previous year - my feet have hardly touched the ground.

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from customers about our EOT status too; there’s no doubt that it engenders trust.

“It gives them confidence in Huxley Golf if they’ve not dealt with us before because they know that all of us here have a vested interest in doing a fantastic job for them.”

Fellow director Paul Chester said: “Like many businesses over the last year, we have had a number of operational obstacles to overcome “Despite these significant hurdles, our business has not just survived, it has thrived. I put this down to incredible team spirit.

“While getting used to our new roles, everyone here has pulled together to help one another find solutions to the various challenges we have been presented with to ensure that Huxley Golf customers continue to get the service they deserve.”