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Drummond Central is adopting employee-owned model

Drummond Central's new owners

Drummond Central, an independent, 60-strong, strategic, creative agency in Newcastle, is becoming an employee-owned business.

As the agency approaches 20 years in business, founders Julie and Stephen Drummond, had been thinking about the future of the agency.

Julie Drummond explained: “Steve and I are incredibly proud of the business we’ve built, the culture we’ve established and the work we produce for our clients. But Drummond Central has been about more than the two of us for a while now, and this felt like the right way to protect everything we’ve worked so hard to build.”

She added that despite numerous offers to buy the business over the years, it never felt like the “right thing” to do: “When we explored what employee ownership meant for us as founders, and for the people who have been a part of our growth and our success, it just clicked,” she said. “We couldn’t think of any better people to be responsible for the future of the business than the people who’ve helped us get to this point.”

The founders have sold their shares to a newly-formed employee ownership trust, which will ensure that the business runs in a way that protects the agency and its people. The trust owns the business for the benefit of all staff equally and they will benefit from tax-free bonuses up to a certain amount if business criteria are met.

Julie added: “We hope that this shows our commitment to our people and our clients. It’s something we believe will help us retain our brilliant people and attract more talent as we continue to grow. We have big ambitions for the agency and our clients, and this is an exciting time for Drummond Central.”

Drummond Central was advised by Ben Butler and Jeremy Smith from Womble Bond Dickinson, with tax and financial advice from Graeme Whitfield and Joanne Deighan at KPMG supported by Graham Purvis at Robson Laidler.

Drummond Central has become one of the most awarded agencies outside of London for its work, featuring in the top 10 of Prolific North’s Top 50 Integrated Agency list every year since 2018, and has also won many Prolific North Marketing Awards, including last year’s Large Agency of the Year.

It has also won some high profile clients over its two decades of service, including producing advertising for global and national clients including Greggs, KitKat, Amazon Prime, bet365, Triumph Motorcycles and the NHS. Drummond Central also works at a strategic and brand level with many of its clients, and creates digital platforms, websites and solutions for clients including Canterbury Cathedral, Northumbria University and END Clothing.

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