A VETERINARY practice in Kington is the first in England and Wales to become an employee-owned business

Each member of staff at Arrowfield Veterinary Practice celebrated becoming its new owners after vets Paul Buckingham and Wendy Phillips led the buying-out of the business on behalf of the team.

This means each staff member has a say in the running of the practice.

Mr Buckingham said: "Against a backdrop of small, independent veterinary businesses being bought up by larger corporates, we wanted to create something different for Arrowfield.

"We settled on the employee ownership trust model because it means our vets, nurses, office and support teams now own the business together and have a say in how its run, as well as a stake in its long-term success. We all have an interest in delivering the very best veterinary service for our community.”

They follow the business model made famous by the John Lewis Partnership, and the practice received guidance in their transition from European law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse.

Previous owner John Dennis will retire from the practice in September.

He said: "I am pleased to see the Arrowfield business, which started in the 1950s, continuing in the capable hands of its staff. "This was a perfect succession solution for me."