Employees at Hitchin Veterinary Surgery (HVS) are set to take charge as part of an ownership restructuring.

The surgery will become an employee ownership trust (EOT), meaning that all staff will become co-owners of the business.

Other EOTs include John Lewis group, where staff are partners in the organisation.

Stuart de Wolf, founder of the surgery, said: “This means every member of the team will become a co-owner of the business and feel an even stronger personal commitment to ensuring the business’ success through providing the best possible service for our clients and their pets.”

Stuart has worked as a vet in Hitchin since 1989, and previously owned Berry House Veterinary Practice in Nightingale Road for 17 years. He then set up his current surgery over seven years ago, at St Ibbs Farm in London Road.

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“Back in 2011, I sold Berry House to a large corporate but I decided I didn’t want to go down that route again because I feel passionate about keeping HVS focused on what matters – the animals and our clients.

“I first came across the idea of an EOT after chatting with a friend. Having looked into it a bit more, I realised it was perfect for HVS.

“I have the most amazing team here and wanted to reward them all for their hard work and this way they’re all a part of our success.”

Stuart brought HVS into being by converting an old building on coach hire company Richard Taylor’s farmyard just outside Hitchin, doing most of the building work himself.

The site is set to develop further soon, with Richard Taylor preparing to open a farm shop and tea room at the site.