Our History

It All Started with Bill

Bill Curtin started his career as a “can lad” on site, later becoming a lecturer in building and design at Brixton College in London and then following that at the “College of Knowledge” in Liverpool.

His desire not only to create and share knowledge, but to put theory into practice, led him to establish W. G. Curtin & Partners in 1960. Initially working from his back bedroom, he, along with some of his former students, set up our office on Rodney Street, Liverpool.

Bill was always passionate about his work and the industry, often outspoken and sometimes anti-establishment in his views. His fundamental principles were to share knowledge, nurturing and supporting his staff to reach their full potential.

Several of our present directors and senior members of staff worked with Bill and they still carry these values with them. So, his legacy continues through our team and across the 14 offices we have today.

Bill Curtin

Looking Back on Our History

  • 1921 - Our founder, Bill Curtin is born

  • 1957 - Senior Lecturer at Liverpool College of Building, Bill Curtin begins taking on the odd job from his home in Liverpool. His best students to help in their spare time.

  • 1960 - W.G Curtin & Partners is established in Liverpool  

  • 1961 - Curtins awarded first scheme with a value of over £1m

  • 1962 - Curtins purchases first office on Rodney Street, Liverpool, moving out of Bill Curtin’s home

  • 1965 - Bill begins a recruitment drive at the youth centres of Toxteth, one of Liverpool’s most deprived areas. He provides opportunities and apprenticeships to young people from a diverse immigrant community

  • 1970 - We open our first office outside of Liverpool, in London

  • 1971 - Manchester joins our office network

  • 1973 - Bill makes Stewart Hall and Terry Holden equal partners in the business. Both were his students from Liverpool College of Building

  • 1977 - Kendal office opens  

  • 1980 - Nottingham office opens

  • 1982 - Liverpool’s Albert Dock regeneration begins with Curtins as structural engineers. Bill had been campaigning for its conservation since 1976

  • 1984 - Bill Curtin retires, with his legacy in safe hands

  • 1984 - Cardiff office opens

  • 1986 - Bristol office opens

  • 1987 - Douglas office opens

  • 1989 - Leeds and Birmingham offices both open

  • 1991 - Bill Curtin: 1921-1991  

  • 1993 - Edinburgh office opens

  • 2004 - Rob Melling becomes CEO. He started in the company as an apprentice in 1981  

  • 2004 - Launch of environmental services 

  • 2004 - Appointed consultants on the Imperial College London framework – the catalyst to our success in the higher education sector

  • 2006 - Accredited with Investors in People National Standard

  • 2009 - Awarded Investors in People Silver Accreditation

  • 2010 - Launch of our transport planning service

  • 2014 - Curtins Academy is launched

  • 2015 - Awarded IIP Gold Accreditation 

  • 2016 - Glasgow and Dublin offices open their doors

  • 2017 - Cambridge office opens

  • 2018 - First cohort of graduates complete the Curtins Academy programme

  • 2019 - Accredited as an Investors in People Platinum company – the highest accolade awarded 

  • 2021 - We became an Employee Owned Trust

  • 2022 - Our board is expanded to include wider representation from our disciplines