Consultant Building Design Partnership hopes to raise more than £1m over the next three years from a share issue to employees.
The limited liability company is offering shares to staff at £2 each. Finance director John Parker said 20% of staff had joined the scheme, which confers tax advantages on them.

Parker said BDP was valued at £4m but hoped to raise this to more than £5m through the offer.

He said: "This gives our staff a chance of gaining real ownership in a beneficial way. This is a long-term change but we've always included some form of profit-share." Parker said shares did not give staff voting rights – the firm's 24 directors would retain these.

The scheme was introduced by the Labour government to encourage wider ownership of UK industry.