A Norfolk business is ringing in a new era with the news that the company has been sold to its employees.

Loddon-based Risk & Policy Analysts (RPA) has used existing cash reserves to purchase the business from owners Pete Floyd and Meg Postle, who founded the business in 1990.

New managing director Matthew Lambert and his team of around 30 staff are taking the consultancy business through a new evolution – and hope to see the company achieve its best results yet.

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'It was really important to Meg and Pete that the business stayed independent. Due to the nature of our work, our independence is of real value to our clients, and setting up an Employee Ownership Trust was a certain way of doing that,' said Mr Lambert.

Effective today, the company will be owned 75% by staff – with no repayment required – and 25% by its former owners.

Shares have been allocated based on how long individuals have been at the company as well as their pay. Profits will be divided equally between the employees moving forward.

'When we were told about the benefits of an employee ownership trust, it was clear it aligned with our values. We were already fair, transparent, and valued our team,' Mr Lambert said.

'The staff have been included in this process all the way through. We have staff-elected employees and new directors who have worked for RPA for over 20 years, sitting on the board of trustees.'

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The business works largely in the field of policy and regulatory advice focusing on the consumer, technology, environment and chemicals sectors, often working on projects with the European Union and UK government.

With Brexit causing some uncertainty over how UK based services companies can access EU work in the future, RPA set up an Italy-based sister company, RPA Europe, to mitigate its effects.

Turonver this year is expected to be the best year to date, growing to near £3m, but Mr Lambert and his team are hoping to grow the business in the next few years.

'Our staff have all been involved in creating our three year plan. We'd like to get the team up to about 50 people, and we're planning to increase turnover to about £5m,' Mr Lambert said.

What do the staff think?

Pete Floyd, former owner of the business, made it clear he wanted to hand the reins over to his staff as the company's

reputation was built on their hard work.

He said: 'It is a great time to step back as I know that the jobs we created are in safe hands and the team will flourish over the coming years.'

Staff have welcomed the news, with researcher Liam Wakefield saying: 'This is a really exciting opportunity for myself

and my colleagues. I really feel part of something now, and I'm sure it will show in our work.'

Elizabeth Daly, who is one of the employees elected to the Trustee board, said: 'I'm looking forward to our first meeting and contributing to the future development of the company.'

The board is made up of two elected directors, two elected employees, and one independent trustee.