A BARNSLEY firm which has become a key player in waste recycling equipment over the last 50 years has become an employee-owned company.

Blacker Hill-based Warwick Ward, established in 1970, employs approximately 120 people.

It is one of the largest stockists and suppliers of new and used earth-moving and waste recycling equipment and spare parts in Europe.

Joint owners Ashley Ward and Matthew Ward, sons of founder Warwick Ward, have each transferred the majority of their shares in the company to a newly-launched employee-owned trust (EOT) as part of a long-term succession strategy for the business.

As a result, employees of Warwick Ward will all profit individually from the future success of the company and benefit from representation on the board of trustees.

No jobs are at risk as a result of the transition, and both owners will continue to take an active role in the business.

Ashley said: “This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for Warwick Ward as we approach our 54th year of trading.

“Over the past six years my brother and I have been working on a succession plan for the future of the business and, after a lot of research and consideration, we feel that the EOT model is a perfect fit for the business.

“It provides motivation for the staff, stability and continuity and ensures the legacy of Warwick Ward continues in the way we want it to.”