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BWB Consulting marks a landmark - in a landmark

BWB Consulting

Nottingham based consultant takes a break from BIM and built environment to celebrate 25 years in business with beer and a barbecue in 18th century Colwick Hall.

BWB Consulting today celebrates 25 years in business with the biggest ever staff get together in the firm's history.

The event is the culmination of a hugely succesful award winning year which saw the business sweep the board at the 2015 ACE Engineering Excellence Awards, winning two category awards plus the coveted overall Diamond Award for winner of winners.

However, today's celebration was more about beer and a barbecue than BIM and the built environment.

"Twenty-five years is a landmark for any business, but today is about a brilliant group of people who really deserve the chance to celebrate past success and raise a toast to a very bright future." Steve Wooler, BWB chief executive

"It has been an incredible journey," said chief executive Steve Wooler. "We were a small-scale East Midlands operation in the early years, reliant initially on relationships rather than professional business development. But we proved our potential with some very big commissions - notably Alliance & Leicester's corporate headquarters and Prologis' Keresley Park development. They were game-changers for us." 

The celebration at the 18th century Colwick Hall in Nottinghamshire, today (Friday 18 September) will biggest get-together in the history of multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy and has taken months of planning.

For the first time it will bring together the different teams from across the business which, over the last two and a half decades has spread its wings from home city Nottingham to a network of five regional offices - topped off by its high-profile London base in Borough Market alongside the new Thameslink Viaduct, and within a stone’s throw of The Shard.

Wooler emphasises that the BWB today is a far cry from the business launched by Messrs Boon, Wright and Blunt in the Dickensian surroundings of Nottingham's Lace Market in 1990.

Wooler was the first civil engineer in a business that had until 1995 relied largely on structural work, and went on to play a key part in its evolution from provincial practice to national consultancy.

But BWB's single biggest game-changer, he said, came in the shape of the MBO led by Wooler in 2008.The business was brimming with confidence on the back of chunky projects and a steadily expanding office network reaching out to new clients. Yet it needed all the confidence it could muster to get through the subsequent financial crash.

"Ours is an industry dominated by advances and innovation in technology, but we have to understand that the technology is nothing without the right people," Steve Wooler

"We'd just completed the MBO when the crash hit," recalls Wooler. "So we did the sensible thing and hunkered down. We weren't going to be able to move forward in the way our MBO plan had envisaged, but we knew that it was the market that was broken, not BWB."

What came next in 2010 was the move into London, and it's since been followed by two targeted acquisitions undertaken to increase BWB’s breadth and reach: initially building services consultancy DKS in early 2013 and, this summer, the long-established building surveying, project management and quantity surveying specialist QMP.

Besides marking 25 years in business, Friday's celebration was also a chance for people from across the expanded group to come together in one place for the first time, and Wooler said that is crucial.

"Ours is an industry dominated by advances and innovation in technology, but we have to understand that the technology is nothing without the right people," he said. "We have always been a capable and talented business that’s become increasingly entrepreneurial, and when I look round the business today I see a group of incredibly creative people”.

He added: "Twenty-five years is a landmark for any business, but today is about a brilliant group of people who really deserve the chance to celebrate past success and raise a toast to a very bright future."