The Stornoway-based television production company MacTV is now owned by its 18 staff, after its former MD offered it to them as he retired.

Bill Morrison offered the independent TV company to employees to ensure that the business stayed in Stornoway and kept its community-led ethos.

MacTV is one of the biggest producers of programming for BBC Alba. Since 2001 it has produced documentary, arts and music programmes in Gaelic and in English including popular series like Trusadh and An Lot. It has also been involved international co-productions with companies in Canada, Ireland, Iceland and Wales.

An employee ownership trust now holds 90% of the shares, thanks to support from Co-operative Development Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

A MacTV statement said: “In the 18 years since it was established, the hugely talented and hardworking team here at MacTV have helped build a highly regarded production company which is recognised at both a national and international level for producing important and compelling programming with Scotland’s unique spirit at its heart. With a workforce truly rooted in the community, the passion, skills and local knowledge of our staff is vital to the quality of our output.

“A traditional trade sale may have seen us bought by a competitor, potentially risking job security and compromising our offering. Employee ownership ensures that the company is owned by and run for the benefit of those most close to it, while providing ongoing economic benefit to the area by anchoring the work and jobs in the local community.”

Picture shows Bill Morrison and MacTV staff celebrating the change of ownership this week (MacTV).