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Business & Economy

Durham architect recruits after buoyant start to the year

Durham-based architect, Howarth Litchfield, is expanding with eight new recruits and three additional roles sought after a buoyant start to 2021.

Daniel Jones has joined the team as an associate architect, Joseph Lythgoe as a building surveyor, Olivia Chisholm as an interior designer and Martin O’Connor as a senior architectural technologist. They are joined by a further two Part 2 architectural assistants, Hannah Angus and Ashleigh Peacock and two Part 1 architectural assistants, Callum Harker and Rachel Moberly.

The firm attributes its success to its knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of sectors, together with its talented designers and rigorous demand for quality of output across every project.

Howarth Litchfield, which was unaffected by the third lock down, took the opportunity to adapt its office in Belmont Business Park at an early stage in the pandemic.

“We took immediate steps to keep the business running as normally as possible back in 2020, adapting our office space so that people could continue working safely if homeworking wasn’t possible,” explains managing director and architect, Jonathan Yates.

“Because we were quickly able to modify our working practices and due to the increased demand for our services in the last twelve months, we have been able to grow the team, despite the pandemic. We are now phasing our teams’ return to work to allow for the summer holiday period and plan to have everyone back in the office by September.”

Howarth Litchfield has received several new instructions in 2021 which has prompted this recruitment drive. Industrial projects, housing and the leisure industry are three sectors that are showing particular momentum, which they believe is a reflection of the market, the investment within the northeast region and the team’s ability to move quickly, which is highly regarded by clients. The popularity of the ‘staycation’ has given rise to several new projects in the leisure sector.

“This year we have seen a huge uplift in areas such as leisure parks, because of the staycation boom,” explains Keith Handy, director.

“We have also completed projects in the education and conservation sectors. We were delighted to see the multi-million-pound transformation of the iconic, Grade 2* listed Neville Hall, a key conservation project, reach a most satisfactory conclusion in January 2021.  In addition, we are undertaking several low carbon projects this year and that is only set to grow as we approach the government deadline of Carbon Net Zero by 2030.

We put our success down to our wide spread of work and knowledge.   We also encourage our associates to ‘grow’ within the business and seek new work within new sectors. All in all, 2021 is shaping up very well for the practice.”

Current projects also continue apace with the design of a new sports centre for Barnard Castle School currently at planning stage, several health projects across London and a £30m development in Whitelock Street, Leeds, for a multi-purpose student building consisting of creative artist studios, 411 student beds across six/seven storeys, private dining facilities and a student cinema and rooftop fitness studio leading out onto a garden terrace with city views.