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Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) has been shortlisted for a national award thanks to its business success since transitioning into employee ownership.


In 2018, CDP made a major shift to become fully employee owned and in October this year the firm learned that it has reached the finals of the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2019, organised by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA).

This is a national organisation that works in close partnership with its members to champion, promote and provide insight into employee ownership. This year the EOA is celebrating 40 years supporting employee ownership in the UK.

Mike Cane, CDP’s founding partner, says he is delighted by the news: “CDP decided to become employee owned to give all staff the opportunity to share in the organisation’s success and to build a solid foundation for future growth. The fact that we all work for each other supports our multi-disciplinary team approach to innovation. Our aim is to foster the skills of our scientists, engineers, digital experts and designers in a positive and creative environment,” he says.

CDP is a finalist in the Rising Star category of the Employee Ownership Awards and the winner will be announced at the EOA Annual Conference in Birmingham in November.

Mike says: “The well-being and happiness of our staff is at the centre of our business approach. As a technology consultancy, we recognise that our people are the real value in our organisation and are the reason our clients come back to us time and time again.” At CDP, employees are all involved in the business though a transparent management approach and an elected employee committee.

This is not the first business award in which CDP has found success. The firm won Employer of the Year in the 2019 Cambridge Business Excellence Awards. “We have always wanted CDP to be an inspiring and supportive place to work. This just shows we are getting it right for our team here,” says Mike.

CDP employs 140 people with a wide range of talents from anthropologists and human factors researchers, through designers to scientists and engineers, with expertise across mechanical and electronics engineering.  The company has its main R&D facilities near Cambridge UK, and a second engineering facility in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The company has just expanded its Cambridge base with an innovative and eco-friendly new building, created using recycled shipping containers.

Above all, CDP aims to encourage and reward staff in a wide range of ways, says Mike. These include team-building social events such as curry nights, regular staff activities like daily lunchtime walks, plus spot prizes and awards for staff who go the extra mile. “There is a real culture of helping and supporting each other here, which contributes to making CDP a fun and creative place to work and is one reason we can do such a good job for our clients” says Mike Cane.

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