Date: 13th September 2019

Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

Dublin-based Senior Transport Planner Rachel Ivers has been voted onto the Executive Committee of The European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil Européen des Urbanistes (ECTP-CEU), representing the whole of Ireland.

Rachel will serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee, having been nominated by the outgoing representative and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI). The current Executive Committee comprises representatives for Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Serbia and the UK.

Rachel has been involved in the ECTP-CEU since 2011 and was on the very first Irish Young Planners workshop.

Tony Dolan, Curtins Executive for Transport planning says: “Progressing through the ranks up to the Executive Committee is a fantastic achievement. We are delighted to have such experience leading the Transport Planning specialism in Dublin.”

Chief Executive at Curtins, Rob Melling adds: “We are all very proud of Rachel’s achievement, and we will support her through the duration of her two-year term. Congratulations, Rachel!”

What is the ECTP-CEU?

The ECTP-CEU brings together 28 professional spatial planning associations and institutes from 24 European countries as well as corresponding members. It is an umbrella association providing members with a common framework to promote the visibility of planning and urban development  in Europe.

The ECTP-CEU also sets standards of education and conduct for the planning profession, engages with local, national and European governments and celebrates examples of good planning throughout Europe.

What’s next?

Rachel is attending the European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners in Plymouth on the 11th to 13th September, which coincides with her first General Assembly meeting on Friday 13th September. The event is organised in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute RTPI.

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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.”

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Curtins’ digital innovation recognised at Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019

Date: 23rd September 2019

Curtins’ digital innovation recognised at Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019

We were thrilled to take home the ‘Best use of Tech in Property Award’ at the Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019 on Thursday evening.

The award acknowledges companies that are embracing new technologies, innovating. looking to the future and considering how they can improve the industry.

The award was in recognition of our work on Leeds Skelton Lake Services – a ‘new concept’ Motorway Service Area combining world-class design and facilities.

Curtins Associate, Andy Saville, says: “The project includes a roof of curved ribbons, which would have been very difficult to develop in a two-dimensional environment as no two cross-sections through the roof structure were the same.

“The BIM processes on this project allowed the design development to be undertaken entirely within a virtual environment, reducing the risk of human error.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in the project. We are all looking forward to the grand opening in January.”

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Kendal office hosts welcome party

Date: 18th September 2019

Kendal office hosts welcome party

Our colleagues in Kendal celebrated the new office premises at K-Village with clients, friends and colleagues from across Cumbria and Lancashire on 11th September.

After four decades in converted office spaces in Kendal’s town centre, we moved into the contemporary and fit-for-purpose office space at K-Village in July.

Our Kendal team greeted guests on the riverside terrace to enjoy drinks, nibbles and music by a Lancaster-based saxophone and piano duo.

Other local Kendal businesses played their part too. Catering and glassware were supplied by Cracking Spread and Castle Crockery.

Andy Roberts, director of the office said, “After several decades in a converted terrace house on Lowther Street, I’m delighted that we have now relocated to new and accessible offices suitable for our growing team.

“It was a privilege to celebrate our move with both clients who have been with us for 40 years as well some newer faces with whom we are currently building relationships. A great evening to mark the momentous change for our team.”

Our new Kendal office on Riverside Place features a large meeting room with views over the river, modern workspaces, accessible facilities and car parking.

The office can be contacted on 01539 724 823 or kendal@curtins.com.