The Priory Hotel has joined the increasing number of businesses to be owned by their employees after its owner Stuart Hutton decided to retire. \r\n\r\nBeauly's 46-year-old Priory Hotel has announced it has become employee-owned after a deal was completed on Friday 30 November guided by employee ownership specialist, Ownership Associates.\r\n\r\nThe hotel began when Stuart and Eveline Hutton bought the former Co-op building in Beauly\u2019s square. When they opened the hotel in 1972 it had 13 bedrooms but now the hotel features 38 en-suite rooms, a coffee lounge and a restaurant. \r\n\r\nUnder employee ownership Stuart's son, Kenneth Hutton, is to become the managing director, with Kate Melens as the GM, and Paula Dick, Janet Munro and Fiona Mackintosh appointed to the board. \r\n\r\nStuart Hutton said: \u201cThe support we received from Ownership Associates throughout the transition to EO was invaluable. They made sure we were fully informed on how the model works and what it would mean for the business. We were also given great advice on how best to structure the company.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe Priory Hotel is now majority owned by an Employee Ownership Trust. All of the employees, once they have completed one year\u2019s service, will become owners of the business through the trust. This means that every member of Priory staff has a stake in making sure the hotel continues to be successful, that guests are happy and well looked after. The Priory Hotel will remain a locally-owned business, playing a significant part in the local community for some time to come."