Date: 31st May 2019

Transform the Future Competition

On 21st June 2019, WSP, Network Rail, Curtins and Institution of Civil Engineers are coming together to host an event celebrating International Women in Engineering Day, with presentations from industry-leading keynote speakers, food, drinks and networking.

We will be celebrating the incredible talent we have in the industry but in a whole new way.  This year we want to empower the young engineers, doctors, lawyers, artists and politicians and showcase that there are no limits to fulfilling potential.

If you are aged 14-19, then take part in this competition. All you have to do is record a 30-second clip sharing how you want to transform the future. How do you want to make a positive impact on the world around you? What do you want to be when you grow up. It’s your clip so be as creative as possible. And share it with us on either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #INWEDmcr2019 and #Transformthefuture. If you don’t have an account then don’t worry, you can always use your parent’s account to enter the competition.

Make sure your videos are posted by Wednesday 12th June. Top 10 shortlisted clip makers will be invited to attend the event and their clips with be shared during the event on 21st June and the winning clip with receive a prize.

To find out more, please see the poster for the competition and rules for taking part here.

Make sure you secure your place by registering here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transform-the-future-tickets-62117792991

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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.

 

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Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

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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Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

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 staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Date: 10th September 2019

Curtins staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge for individuals and businesses alike, and today we mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Tomorrow sees us embark on the first of our two-day Mental Health First Aid training for members of our team who have volunteered as champions.

Fighting the stigma
The first aid training is designed to tackle the stigma of mental health and provide trained staff who can offer support to any employee or person experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

Through vital training and support networks such as Mental Health First Aiders, we will be building on our wider activity to address the stigma of mental health in the workplace and support those at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Course curriculum
The Mental Health First Aid training will teach our champions to:

  • Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill-health
  • Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
  • Listen to the person non-judgementally
  • Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
  • Encourage the person to access appropriate self-help strategies, professional or internal support mechanisms
  • Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
  • Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
  • Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
  • Protect themselves while performing their role

This training programme is a key part of our on-going commitment to promoting positive mental health in our workforce, and beyond.

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Curtins partner with Mates in Mind

Date: 4th September 2019

Curtins partner with Mates in Mind

Mental health is a topic that has gained much-needed traction in the media and wider society over recent years with ever-growing importance placed on workplaces to ensure a true investment in employee’s health and wellbeing.

To further develop our commitment as a business, we are extremely pleased to announce that we have partnered with Mates in Mind, a leading UK charity, who support employers in addressing the stigma of mental health and promoting positive mental wellbeing across workplaces.

By supporting Mates in Mind, Curtins have joined a growing community of more than 270 organisations across the UK, all working to achieve the same goal of addressing the stigma of mental health that still, unfortunately, exists. Particularly within the workplace.

Chief Executive at Curtins, Rob Melling comments: “The promotion of good mental health has always been a priority for our business, and we have a robust support system in place to assist employees with nurturing their own and that of their colleagues. I am delighted that Curtins are partnering with Mates in Mind as it provides us with a refreshed opportunity to continue building awareness and championing positive change.”

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Bereaved families enjoy holiday courtesy of Curtins

Date: 30th August 2019

Bereaved families enjoy holiday courtesy of Curtins

Curtins have given a week’s stay in our holiday lodges to three families affected by grief and bereavement, who have been supported by Marie Curie, the terminal illness charity.

Fundraising through our Curtins Care charity initiative has been an annual commitment for a long time, but since this years’ nominated charity is Marie Curie we feel we have certain resources to help do more for patients than monetary donations alone.

As part of our employee benefits package, our staff can enjoy a week’s holiday in one of our four lodges across the UK. Lots of our staff use the lodges to spend time with the people they care about the most, and we feel this opportunity could also help families affected by terminal illness that Marie Curie are caring for.

So far, three families have each had a week’s break in our Cheddar and Windermere lodges. We also made sure there was a special welcome pack on their arrival to help them settle into their holiday.

Emily Lever, Head of Account Management at Marie Curie, said: “Having experienced the death of someone very dear to them, Curtins’ generous offer will help these families spend valuable time together and share cherished memories.

“These holidays give people supported by Marie Curie an opportunity to process their grief, and are a great example of going the extra mile to deliver personalised care to every individual family. Thank you, Curtins.”

We hope to offer more of these lodge breaks as we continue to support Marie Curie in the future. Meanwhile, we have also introduced a volunteer’s day that enables our employees to take a day’s paid leave to spend fundraising or volunteering for Curtins Care.

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Charity fundraising in Scotland: The Bike & Boot Challenge

Date: 27th August 2019

Charity fundraising in Scotland: The Bike & Boot Challenge

Two offices, two cycle rides, one walk and one charity…

During September, Curtins’ Glasgow and Edinburgh offices will be getting their bikes out and boots on to raise vital funds for Marie Curie UK, our nominated charity of the year. A combination of cycle rides and walks will see the teams completing distances totalling over 70 miles.

What we’re doing

The first event, a bike ride, will take place on Friday 20th September. The Edinburgh and Glasgow teams will start the ride from two hospitals schemes they’re working on in their respective cities, meeting roughly in the middle at the iconic Kelpies sculptures near Falkirk. End to end the distance covered by the eight cyclists will be 62 miles, with each team cycling just over 30 miles.

The Edinburgh contingent will set off from the Western General Hospital – a current project with architects Oberlanders and HLM and with Robertson Construction, Hulley & Kirkwood and Thomson Gray to deliver a cancer bridging unit for the NHS Lothian.

The Glasgow team will start at the Golden Jubilee Hospital where they’re providing services for a new ophthalmology unit and operating theatres with Kier Regional Building, Scotland.

In addition to the cycle ride, a team of six walkers will complete a 10km route, taking in four of the office’s projects in Edinburgh.

Helping Marie Curie

All the money raised from these activities will go towards the Curtins Care charity of the year, Marie Curie who carry out invaluable work supporting and caring for families living with a terminal illness. Their Nurses provide much-needed care for people in their own homes when they need them most, whether that’s day or night.

To donate to the Scotland Bike and Boot Challenge please go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/CurtinsScotland. We’re aiming to raise £450, which will pay for 50 hours of nursing support in someone’s home through the night. That’s a small price to pay for for the kind of support that in reality is priceless to the people who receive it.