North East sales top £10m at Turner and Townsend

Turnover at Turner and Townsend is set to rise this coming financial year - and 75% of the budgeted figure is covered by forward orders

Craig Auckland / Fotohaus Durham University's world-renowned Business School which was redeveloped with input from Turner & Townsend
Durham University's world-renowned Business School which was redeveloped with input from Turner & Townsend

Construction and management consultancy Turner & Townsend is poised to grow sales by 12% in the coming year after securing contracts across a range of sectors.

Established as quantity surveyors in Darlington, County Durham, in 1946, Turner & Townsend has since expanded into a global cost and project management company with 87 offices in more than 60 countries.

The business has maintained its commitment to the North East with two offices – in Newcastle and Thornaby – employing 120 people.

Current turnover for the North East offices has reached £10m, but associate director David Hughes said the business expects sales to grow to at least £11.2m in the forthcoming financial year, with 75% of revenues already covered with orders in place.

The firm works across a diverse range of sectors including healthcare, heritage, education and industry, and Mr Hughes said its broad reach, as well as wide geographical spread, helped the business emerge from the recession relatively unscathed.

Visitors looking round Hexham Abbey
Visitors looking round Hexham Abbey

Projects delivered in 2014 included the £16m redevelopment of Durham University Business School and the £3m refurbishment of Hexham Abbey.

The business also worked on the £16.3m Morpeth Flood Alleviation scheme, which involved the construction of a structural earthworks embankment on the River Wansbeck, complete with the provision of six culverts to control flow and futureproof the town against a repeat of the disastrous flooding events of 2012.

To mark a strong year in business, the company hosted more than 200 business leaders at a special event – Building Upon Success – at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, which highlighted the 2014 projects.

Mr Hughes said: “Since 1946 the firm has grown to become a global business with 3,660 people, and the workforce grew by 13% in the last year.

“The fact that in almost 60 years we have become a worldwide consultancy is a fantastic achievement for a business that started here in the region, and we want to fly the flag for the North East.

“My feeling is that there are not a lot of people who appreciate the advances the North East is making in terms of moving forward – we’re seen as the weakling cousin of the UK.

“We have a very broad cross section of clients and over time we have branched out and added on new services, and that has really helped to support the business in this area, especially during the difficult six years of the recession.

“We might not have had the growth we had in previous years but we managed to maintain the business during the lean times and then pick up when the economy started to pick up.

“We are currently putting together budgets for the coming year and a conservative estimate is a 12% turnover rise, and there is 75% coverage of what we need to do for this year in the order book.

“Most expect to be starting with 24% so, at the beginning of the financial year that’s a good position to be in, plus other work will be picked up during the year.”

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