Following the news that multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Harley Haddow had opened a base in Manchester as part of its UK expansion strategy, Andy Walker spoke with the firm’s director Sarah Peterson about their recent expansion into the north west.
Engineering consultancy Harley Haddow aims to recruit a new team in Manchester over the next couple of years as part of its expansion into northern England to take advantage of the growing work opportunities in the region. It’s an exciting time for the practice, which also has offices in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and their aim is to have a ten-person local team in place within 12 to 24 months, cementing their commitment to the north west region.
“We saw huge opportunities in Manchester because there’s so much development going on there,” said Harley Haddow director Sarah Peterson, who leads the firm’s energy team. “I do a lot of work with net zero and net zero planning and we saw that as a huge opportunity for new buildings and existing buildings where we could hopefully win work in those sectors. It’s a really exciting time at the moment and there are big changes coming with the building regulations and a period of really rapid change on the way,” she said.
Last year, Harley Haddow won ACE’s Net Zero Advisor of the Year Award and Peterson said that the firm is looking to build on that profile with clients across the region, especially in the light of increasing opportunities arising from the net zero agenda and also the government’s levelling up plans.
“Looking at the growth trends in the north, particularly around the levelling up agenda in places like Liverpool and Leeds, it was really a no-brainer to open an office in Manchester,” says Peterson. “There’s potential growth across a wide variety of project areas and with our good experience of working across a broad range of areas across all sectors, we should be well placed to capitalise on opportunities that we know are coming on stream,” she said.
Harley Haddow staff members pictured at their Manchester office.
A track record of delivery
With an extensive track record of delivering high profile projects in northern England, including a major residential-led mixed use development within the Holbeck area of Leeds and Sanctuary Housing’s multi-storey sprinkler and life safety project in Chester, Harley Haddow certainly bring a wide range of engineering expertise to the market that they should be able to exploit to grow the firm across the region.
“Expanding into Manchester is an exciting step for Harley Haddow and we are looking forward to capitalising on opportunities in the region. The city has interesting and varied prospects for us and we see it as an ideal location to recruit locally, launch and establish a north west hub and further our business development,” said Peterson.
There is much excitement and anticipation about establishing an office in Manchester and speaking to Peterson, it’s clear that she can’t wait to get started. “We see the move as a huge positive, are really excited about the move into the north west and we’re looking forward to working on the opportunities that will come. It’s a vibrant place and things are happening and if the region gets its share of levelling up funding, then that should progress things even more,” she said.
As with all construction companies, one of the big challenges facing Harley Haddow currently is talent acquisition and retention. So, how are they finding that? “Everyone is finding the right talent a challenge currently. We focus on the person rather than just concentrating on CV requirements. We are developing our staff through our graduate trainee scheme and sometimes even before then from school. We try to support all our staff so they can hit the ground running,” she explained.
Passionate about recruiting top talent
“We are passionate about recruiting and nurturing Britain’s top engineering talent. We pride ourselves on our director-led approach at Harley Haddow, an approach that we also believe helps to set us apart in the industry, with a multidisciplinary and personal offering under one roof for a wide range of projects and client needs. Establishing a base in Manchester underlines our commitment to the north west region and we’re really excited about the local market and what the coming years will bring for Harley Haddow here,” Peterson said.
With Sarah Peterson’s enthusiastic, positive and open approach, it will be well worth watching Harley Haddow’s progress over the coming months and years. Already working on interesting and varied projects, the company is well placed to attract the people and projects it needs to flourish further in one of the country’s most vibrant regions.