06 December 2016

Expansion and diversification deliver record growth for BWB

BWB Group, the privately-owned engineering and environmental consultancy, with growing operations in most of England’s major cities, has revealed record turnover driven by expanding services that have taken the business into new markets.

The Nottingham-headquartered multidisciplinary business, which employs a 275-strong team across seven offices in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge and Market Harborough, saw revenues reach £19.2m during its last financial year.

Now ranked as one of the top 30 consulting engineers in the UK, BWB is involved in many high-profile projects, among them the landmark Lewisham Gateway project in London and Arena Central in Birmingham, the site of banking giant HSBC’s new UK personal banking headquarters.

It has also won a raft of awards for its project work, business performance, and people development achievements during the year, with BWB Group chairman John Pilkington praising a “team of many talents”.

“This has been a remarkable year for the business, with better systems, broader geography and more diverse services driving significant achievement on behalf of some very high calibre clients,” Pilkington said. “As a business, BWB has undergone a step-change, and what stands out for me is the way in which a team of many talents has used strategy and technology to drive long-term growth.”

While BWB’s head office is located at its Nottingham headquarters, the year has seen significant expansion of both its London operations, based in Borough Market, and its Birmingham office, which is taking additional space to accommodate more staff at Livery Street. It has also expanded in Manchester and Leeds, its Yorkshire operation growing through the acquisition of building services consultancy EDCM, while project management specialist QMP, which BWB acquired in 2015, moved into new offices in Leicestershire.

The strategic expansion of services and the growth of its regional operations has been reflected in long-term relationships with clients who have come to recognise the strength of the group’s specialist skills, said BWB chief executive Steve Wooler.

“2016 has been a landmark for BWB in every sense of the word,” Wooler said. “The scale of some of our projects tells its own story about the level at which we now operate, with many clients now regarding us as the go-to specialist for certain types of work. Our environmental planning capability, for example, is opening doors into numerous urban regeneration projects in major cities across the UK.

“We’ve also become a leader in the logistics market, with our continuing commitment to the East Midlands Gateway project being a great example of the way in which we add value. I’m particularly thrilled by the way that our teams have grasped the opportunities presented by digital technologies, not just with platforms like BIM and GIS, but by using open data to produce apps tailored to the needs of developers,” said Wooler.

The deal to purchase EDCM earlier this year was the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions aimed at increasing BWB’s services. It is unlikely to be the last.

Wooler explained: “There are some uncertainties around Brexit, but our growth strategy is based on fundamentally sound principles related to diversification, increasing our use of technology and achieving incremental growth into new geographies.

“BWB has a very strong balance sheet, and we will continue to explore targeted acquisition as a means of supplementing our strong organic growth. We are confident that 2017 will be another year of solid growth for the business, despite the challenges in the market, and we continue to actively recruit to sustain our expansion,” he said.

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