Cultural consultancy Barker Langham becomes employee-owned

20 July 2023 3 min. read
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Barker Langham has announced its transition to employee ownership. The firm will continue to be led by its co-founders on a daily basis, but its staff will collectively own a majority stake in the company.

Employee ownership is the fastest growing form of business ownership in the UK. Over the last decade, the number of employee-owned businesses has passed 1,300. The latest firm to take the plunge is Barker Langham – which has entered into an employee-owned trust (EOT) to empower employees around the world.

Founded in 2005, Barker Langham is a global cultural consultancy, creating pioneering and sustainable projects for museums, historical sites, governments and charities. It’s more than 120 permanent and long-term associate staff have delivered over 250 projects, from community oral history initiatives to international mega-museums – with its team including museum and culture professionals living and working across Europe, China, Africa, the Middle East and North America.

Cultural consultancy Barker Langham becomes employee-owned

Designed to empower employees, EOTs are an increasingly important ownership model for creative businesses. The new framework means that Barker Langham employees now own a combined majority stake in the company. According to a release from the firm, the rationale for the move is to ensure the survival of the collaborative spirit upon which the company was founded and has since thrived.

While the company’s projects have grown exponentially both in number and scale, and the team has grown accordingly, the company’s founders and board of directors wanted to ensure that the original ethos would be lastingly infused throughout the company. Looking ahead, co-founders Darren Barker and Eric Langham will continue to lead the business on a day-to-day basis, alongside a highly experienced and multi-skilled team of global directors in offices around the world. 

Barker commented, “As we grow, it is important to ensure these values are captured and retained for the future. By transitioning to an EOT, we are writing the next chapter of BL hand in hand with our team, who will share in the success they have been integral to building. This new structure brings the very ownership of the organisation into alignment with what we believe.”

He added that the firm was founded on a “commitment to an ethical and democratic business style”. Barker Langham’s mission is to create transformational and sustainable projects around the globe, leading to the successful delivery of more than 250 projects in over 40 countries for a wide range of clients including museums, governments, corporations and charities. Like many consulting firms, this has included playing a pivotal role in the economic transformations of a number of Gulf states – such as Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2020, the development of the UAE’s Al Shindagha Museum, and Qatar’s National Museum, in Doha. 

Looking ahead, the founders expect this kind of work to continue under its new structure, with Langham adding, “Our exceptionally talented and passionate global team lead in their fields with a distinctive blend of local experience and international expertise. When you look at what we have accomplished together on an incredible variety of projects around the globe, these things are only possible because of our team. Our move to an EOT will empower them to continue expanding and innovating – delivering Barker Langham’s unparalleled support for the cultural sector.”

Barker Langham was recently named in’s rankings of the top consulting firms in the UK. The firm received a diamond-tier evaluation in the 2023 arts and culture category.