Date: 11th September 2019

Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Manchester office.

We welcome Carl Peers as the newest member of our transport planning team with over 15 years’ experience working with the private and public sectors.

Formerly at SYSTRA (JMP Consultants), Carl brings specialist knowledge and expertise in transport and development planning. He is conversant with guidance and policy and will be able to provide advice on a range of highways and transport matters that deliver cost-effective and realistic development schemes for our clients.

Carl’s experience compliments our sector specialisms, with a broad range of land uses including residential, commercial, retail and education and mixed-use developments. As part of our comprehensive service, Carl will provide advice at all stages of planning from initial feasibility to planning submission and the discharge of planning conditions. In addition, his specialist experience of urban regeneration schemes in town and city centres will be instrumental on larger masterplan schemes.

For more information on our transport planning services, please click here.

We’re pleased that the appointment will see Carl playing a key role in our Manchester office, where he will work closely with our regional heads including Alex Vogt in the North, Shazad Khan in Yorkshire and the North East, Matt Price in the Midlands and Steven Farthing in the South.

Alex Vogt, our head of transport planning north says, “I am delighted that Carl has joined us in this leading role. His skills and breadth of experience will add to our existing transport planning offer in Manchester and enable us to further service our existing and new clients with senior level input at all stages of a project.”

Tony Dolan, executive director for transport planning, added, “The appointment of Carl will enable us to build upon our established transport planning offer, alongside the full range of Curtins pre-planning services, including our civil & structural, infrastructure and geo-environmental specialisms”.

Carl Peers commented, “It’s an exciting time to have joined Curtins’ transport planning team in Manchester. Curtins has an excellent reputation having successfully delivered a large number of high-profile schemes in the Manchester region. I look forward to assisting with the growth aspirations of the business across the North West.”

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Curtins storm up the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies List

Date: 21st February 2020

Curtins storm up the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies List

Coming in at Number 28, Curtins jumped 13 places in the Sunday Times Top 100 companies to work for at a glamorous ceremony in London’s Battersea Evolution last night.

This is the fourth year Curtins have been recognised in the list, seen as one of the most prestigious compilations of businesses in the UK from across all industries in medium and large size categories.

The List recognises businesses that go above and beyond to engage with their staff and provide an employee experience that has them at the centre.

From company holiday lodges available to all staff to use free of charge, to birthday holidays, to a comprehensive learning and development programme to mental health first aiders in each offices, Curtins has proved once again that it is among the best places to work.

Rob Melling, CEO comments: “I am just as proud today as I was when we first entered the list in 2015. This is an incredible achievement and one we should each share in at Curtins. Employee engagement is not something that is ever done, you don’t ‘tick the box’. It is constantly evolving and I am committed to continuing the work in maintaining the unique culture at Curtins, where each employee matters.”

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Bournemouth student development saved with successful planning appeal

Date: 19th February 2020

Bournemouth student development saved with successful planning appeal

Work on student accommodation that was refused planning permission can now begin, thanks in part to Curtins’ Transport Planning team.

The development site, located off Richmond Gardens near Bournemouth town centre, will comprise purpose-built accommodation blocks totalling 625 bedrooms, flexible retail/coffee shop units, cycle parking, landscaping, public realm improvements and highway works.

A planning application was initially submitted in late 2018. Despite receiving Officer recommendation for approval, it was refused at a Planning Committee meeting in March 2019.

The reasons for refusal included design and massing, the impact on the local conservation area and also the proposed lack of car parking and what this would mean to highway safety and residential parking capacity to the north of the site.

Curtins helped Summix Capital and Sheet Anchor Evolve win the appeal and gain planning consent with car parking surveys and detailed supporting evidence to prove the parking provisions were suitable for the development.

Within the appeal report, the Planning Inspector acknowledged that:

“Not only do students have low car ownership rates, but there is also very limited access to parking on the university campuses, with only disabled students having access to university parking permits. For students, typically in their late teens and early twenties, the university campuses would be within reasonable walking and cycling distance. There would also be good access to public transport.”

Curtins Associate Ben Dawson, who provided evidence at the Planning Appeal Hearing, said:

“We are very happy to have supported this planning appeal and to help achieve a successful result for the Client. Any issue relating to car parking can be contentious, however, with low car ownership rates among students, the sustainable location of the site and the mitigation measures proposed, we were always of the view that we were providing the right amount of car parking for the site.”

For more information on this project please contact Ben Dawson or Curtins’ wider Transport Planning Services.

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Samaritans announced as Curtins Charity of the Year 2020

Date: 31st January 2020

Samaritans announced as Curtins Charity of the Year 2020

We pledge to raise £15,000 to help Samaritans continue supporting people 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

This year we will be supporting Samaritans as our nominated Curtins Care Charity of the Year. Through the partnership, we aim to raise £15,000 in funds, as well as improve awareness about mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Once again we will also offer every staff member the opportunity to donate their time to Samaritans through a Donation Day initiative. It is hoped that the Charity Donation Days will enable staff to take part in activities such as volunteering in high street shops, undertake fundraising activities and even training as a Samaritans volunteer if they choose.

Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. Every six seconds Samaritans respond to a call for help, with 20,000 volunteers across the UK and Republic of Ireland who support people by telephone, email, letter and face-to-face in branches.

 

Rob Melling, Chief Executive at Curtins, says:

“Caring for families, individuals and communities is vitally important to us at Curtins. Every year we pledge to support a worthy charity, chosen by our staff and I’m so pleased that this year we are partnering with Samaritans, who continue to be there for people when they need support the most. 

We have a great track record of raising funds and exceeding our annual fundraising targets, and I am certain that this year will be no exception. Working in the Construction industry, there is a statistically higher risk of mental health challenges and suicide. This is a matter close to our heart.

We are excited to be partnered with the Samaritans to help build awareness and openness to talk within the Construction and Engineering sector. Hopefully, our collaboration can contribute to breaking down the stigma attached to mental health and suicide, encouraging men, in particular, to ask for help if they are struggling or experiencing a difficult time.”

 

Ruth Sutherland, CEO at Samaritans says:

“We look forwarding to working with Curtins and helping staff with their fantastic fundraising efforts in 2020.  With their support, we can promote the power of listening and help more people who are struggling to cope.  

“When someone is feeling overwhelmed, it’s vital that they are listened to and supported to work through difficult thoughts and feelings. Our confidential 24-hour service, available 365 days a year, is often the only place people can turn to, especially when other services are unavailable. Together, we will save lives.”

For more information on Samaritans visit their Website, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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Curtins Engineer selected for the IStructE National Young Member Panel

Date: 14th January 2020

Curtins Engineer selected for the IStructE National Young Member Panel

Leeds based Project Engineer Niamh McCloskey has been elected on to the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) National Young Member Panel for 2020.

The IStructE is a professional body which provides accreditation for structural engineers in the UK. The panel which Niamh has been selected for represents the views of – and develops initiatives for – IStructE members under 35. It’s made up of 13 qualified members and a chairperson.

The panel also advises on content for IStructE publications and oversees the Young Engineers Conference each year.

Niamh, who joined Curtins in 2014 as a student at our Liverpool office before moving over to Leeds in 2017, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the panel. She is heavily involved in Curtins STEM activities, regularly speaking at secondary schools about her work and encouraging young women to consider engineering careers.

Niamh talks to students at Curtins Inspiring Womens’ Day 2019

Speaking about her panel selection, Niamh says, “I am extremely excited to get started. Hopefully, I can help be a positive voice for not only Curtins but out in the wider industry too. I’m looking forward to all the great things we can create in 2020!”

 

Congratulations, Niamh!

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Introducing our new Director of Transport Planning

Date: 6th January 2020

Introducing our new Director of Transport Planning

We are delighted to announce Alex Vogt will take the role of Director of Transport Planning for Curtins with immediate effect.

Before the new year, Alex had been Head of Transport Planning for our Northern offices. His promotion comes ahead of Tony Dolan’s retirement later this year. Tony established our Transport Planning specialism in 2010, with Alex joining us soon after.

Alex says, “I joined Curtins and the Transport Specialism just under a decade ago. Since then, I have seen it grow from a few individuals in Manchester to a well-established service operating from multiple locations, and on some of the most high profile and exciting projects across the UK and Ireland.

“Curtins enabled me to grow and develop my career, and I have had the pleasure of assisting Tony during this time. I am excited to continue his good work and lead the Transport Planning team as we move forward into the future.”

Tony Dolan will continue in his role as Executive Director until he retires in the Summer.

Congratulating Alex, Tony says, “I have had the pleasure of working with Alex for many years. This promotion reflects his commitment and ability to maintain and grow our Transport Planning business, alongside our other core specialisms. Congrats Alex!”.

Over the past decade, Curtins’ Transport Planning specialism has grown across our 14 offices in the UK and Ireland, providing a comprehensive service to a strong client base and a diverse portfolio of projects.

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Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside

Date: 28th November 2019

Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside

Yesterday Curtins brought together 100 schoolgirls, from eight Merseyside schools, to hear seven women share their experiences working in male-dominated environments.

With contributions from Everton FC, EY, Brabners LLP and Curtins, the key messages were clear: You have choices, you have opportunities and you are enough.

Each company involved has an impressive track record of contributing to events in their communities that empower young women and promote social values. Collaborating on this event was something that resonated with the values of each organisation.

Commonwealth boxing champion, radio DJ and #PavetheWay founder Stacey Copeland hosted the event. She shared her experience of growing up in a sporting world when the female competition was illegal. Stacey’s passion and drive shine through in abundance, and she now tours the country delivering talks at schools to ensure attitudes to gender balance continue to change for the better.

Curtins Structural Engineer Niamh McCloskey spoke of her journey to engineering as a career choice, and the barriers she faced along the way. Niamh shared her view on the importance of role models; both looking for them, and the responsibility of being one.

Our speakers from Everton FC were Alison Haynes and Rachael Lomax. Alison is the Director of Tax at the football club and has had a long, varied and successful career in accountancy and taxation. She recalled several decades’ experience of encountering glass ceilings and the impact that had. She reminded the girls in the room how far things have come, highlighting their fortunate position having increased access to choice. Alison implored them not to waste that choice, and to pursue what is right for them.

Rachael gave a poignant speech about her journey to Everton FC where she is now the club’s Access Advisor. Rachael began her career as a Clinical Psychologist before a traumatic event led to her questioning whether that was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. She went back to basics, worked out what sparked joy and realised she had to pursue her passion for helping people. Rachael spoke fervently about her current role and the impact she has on fans visiting Goodison, giving the students insight into a different side of football.

Michelle Mullany from EY talked about her experience working for a financial consultancy and having no direct role in finance herself. As a Business Development Manager, she encouraged the students to look beyond the obvious business roles and to have the confidence to pursue a job based on the skills they can bring to the role, not only the experience required. Michelle also recapped alternative routes to jobs beyond traditional degree access.

Brabners LLP is a law practice with nearly 100 years of history, but with a firm view on the future. Their contributors to the event were Joanne Radcliffe and Siu Yin Ho. Joanne focused on her experience overcoming challenges and succeeding in business as someone from an underprivileged background. She implored the girls to reject labels and instead create their own narrative and personal brand, suggesting that the skills they are picking up now can be applied to their future careers. Siu shared her journey into law; how she overcame various barriers to embark on a successful career in the legal profession as someone from a BAME background.

The day was one of positivity, encouragement and inspiration where each speaker brought a spark of something new, whilst echoing themes from others.

We hope that each student took something away with them. They may not recognise what resonated for a week, a year or even a decade after, but seeing what could be – through the eyes of some of the finest role models in industry – is a powerful message that Curtins were delighted to be able to deliver through this fantastic event.

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Curtins win “Consultancy” category at the Cardiff Property Awards

Date: 18th November 2019

Curtins win “Consultancy” category at the Cardiff Property Awards

Curtins were delighted to be awarded the title of “Consultancy” at the inaugural Cardiff Property Awards.

Key members of the Cardiff team attended the packed-out event and accepted the award on behalf of the Cardiff Office.

The category was aimed at consultants in the Cardiff area who play a key role in the property sector’s engineering, construction, environmental impact, planning and regulations. Curtins have been established in Cardiff for over 30 years and during that time have consistently delivered on high-end projects as well as smaller, attention to detail projects. The Cardiff office has seen extensive growth in recent years in line with increasing demand and is proud to be part of some ground-breaking projects. Curtins valued that this progression was noted by the judges.

On winning the award, Dean Saxton, Associate said “Amazing result for the Cardiff Team. It’s fantastic that our hard work has been acknowledged in this way”

The judges at the Cardiff Property Awards said “Curtins’ wealth of experience creates bold futures for many businesses, whilst succeeding with its own. Enhanced turnover, increasing work and fast-growing staff cements it as a progressive consultant.”

Congratulations and well done team!

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Curtins achieves Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation

Date: 30th October 2019

Curtins achieves Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation

As part of our ongoing commitment to Information Security, Curtins has gained Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.

The Cyber Essentials standard was set up by the Government to assess how UK companies secure data and sensitive information. Plus accreditation on the scheme is awarded to companies who can demonstrate strong cybersecurity procedures and policies, backed up by the testing of equipment and servers against online attacks.

David Price, Head of IT at Curtins, says:

“Upon joining Curtins it was clear that cybersecurity – and security in general – is very much at the forefront. We have strong Information Security Management Systems, backed up with several layers of defence with a higher than average employee understanding of the threats we all face daily.

“We see increasing numbers of clients and frameworks requesting such certification, so achieving the Plus standard is a further acknowledgement of the work we do to protect our systems, data and our clients.”

 

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Happy 30th birthday Bristol!

Date: 24th September 2019

Happy 30th birthday Bristol!

We’ve had an office in the heart of Bristol for 30 years this year. Last Wednesday, we threw a boat party to celebrate!

The anniversary bash was held aboard the MV Balmoral, moored outside our office on Hotwell Road. Around 130 guests from across the region joined us for live music, drinks and of course, a slice of birthday cake!

Stephen Beggs, technical director of the Bristol office said, “Curtins Bristol has come a long way in 30 years. We began in the city restoring non-traditional housing and although this has been a thread running through our history, our projects have certainly become larger and more complex.

“At present, we’re working on some exciting schemes including the £100m regeneration of Swansea Central, and we’ve just completed the new 26-storey student accommodation Zenith building in Cardiff.”

He added: “What hasn’t changed, however, is our loyal clients, some of whom we have had the privilege of working with for three decades. I think the large number of guests who joined us for the evening is testament to the thriving construction industry present in Bristol and the local region.”

A member of the National Historic Fleet, The Balmoral has sailed to almost every port and harbour in the United Kingdom that can take her and has carried more than two million passengers is around the coastlines of the UK and Ireland.  Above all, she is known throughout the Bristol Channel and in the city.

Talking at the event onboard the vessel, Stephen said, “We’re grateful to the Balmoral team for enabling us to hold our anniversary celebrations on board, and also for the volunteers who so enthusiastically helped get her shipshape and Bristol fashion for the evening.”