A POWYS business has gone from preparing for closure to a bright future under the ownership of its staff.

James Technical Services, which makes environmental test chambers, has moved into Employee Ownership via an employee ownership trust, after Glen and Sue James who founded it nearly 30 years ago decided to retire.

The company employs 10 people from its purpose-built factory at Talgarth near Brecon, and makes test chambers that can re-produce harsh environmental conditions, temperatures, humidity and vibration serving industries including aerospace, automotive, pharma and many more.

Glen and Sue had been looking to retire, and thought they had explored all options before resigning themselves to closing down their business – until they came across the employee ownership model.

Now, 12 months on from starting the process of closing JTS, they have taken on a new managing director, David Hunter, and have ambitious growth plans to double their turnover in three years’ time.


Glen said: “JTS is a successful business providing much needed jobs and skills in Mid Wales, but Sue and I had come to the point where we wanted to retire.

"We explored a trade sale, but we knew that we’d run the risk of the factory function being moved to another area.

“We thought our only other option was to close the business, which was a last resort as it is doing really well, but as we were winding down the business, we heard about the EOT model and realised it was perfect for us.

“So, we contacted Cwmpas who talked us through the process and set about making the arrangements for the EOT. We quickly realised that we’d need someone to drive the business forward under this model and so David Hunter joined the team as our new Managing Director.”

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Glen added: “Sue and I will remain at the business on a part-time basis during the transition period, but we are so pleased that David has hit the ground running with some ambitious growth plans, and that the rest of the team has welcomed the EOT.

"It is the perfect solution for us, and the future of the business.”

Mr Hunter, added: “The fact JTS was transitioning into an employee-owned business was a big attraction for me.

"Having worked a lot of my life as a small cog in major automotive companies, to know that as employees we all have a vested interest in the performance of the business was a real boon.

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“I’m looking forward now to pushing JTS to be the biggest and best manufacturer of environmental test chambers in the UK, and in bringing more skilled jobs to Mid Wales too.”

Gillian Byrne, who has been with the company for more than 25 years and as a director since 2010, said of the EOT: “It has been welcomed with open arms by all of our team, many of whom have been here for a long time.

"Our customers have also welcomed the news and are glad that we are here for good, with plans to create a more dynamic business in the offing.”

For more information about employee ownership, visit: https://employeeownershipwales.co.uk/